Publications by authors named "Toshiko Tanaka"

276 Publications

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is associated with physical function and grip strength in older men and women.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Diet quality may be protective of physical function and muscle strength during aging.

Objectives: We aimed to investigate associations of the Mediterranean-Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet with physical function and grip strength.

Methods: Data were obtained from men and women in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (mean ± SD age: 68 ± 14 y at first diet visit; n = 1358). Diet was assessed by FFQ. MIND diet score was calculated from 15 food groups, with a higher score indicating better diet quality; tertile categories of averaged MIND score across visits were used. Physical function was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), with a score < 10 indicative of impaired function, and the Health, Aging and Body Composition Physical Performance Battery (HABCPPB). The highest value of grip strength over 3 trials was used. Multivariable logistic and linear mixed-effects models were examined with repeated measurements of physical function and grip strength, respectively.

Results: MIND score was inversely associated with physical function impairment (per 1-point increment: OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.93; P < 0.01), and with each SPPB component, over a median 6 y of follow-up. Participants in the highest compared with the lowest tertile of MIND diet score had 57% lower odds of functional impairment (OR: 0.43; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.73; P < 0.01), and slower decline by the HABCPPB. Men and women in the highest compared with the lowest tertiles of MIND score had 1.86-kg (95% CI: 0.33, 3.40 kg; P < 0.05) and 1.24-kg (95% CI: 0.04, 2.45 kg; P < 0.05) greater grip strength, respectively.

Conclusions: Adherence to the MIND dietary pattern was associated with lower odds of physical function impairment and decline, and with better muscle strength, indicating that the MIND dietary pattern may be protective of physical functional health in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab310DOI Listing
October 2021

Differentially expressed genes reflect disease-induced rather than disease-causing changes in the transcriptome.

Nat Commun 2021 09 24;12(1):5647. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Comparing transcript levels between healthy and diseased individuals allows the identification of differentially expressed genes, which may be causes, consequences or mere correlates of the disease under scrutiny. We propose a method to decompose the observational correlation between gene expression and phenotypes driven by confounders, forward- and reverse causal effects. The bi-directional causal effects between gene expression and complex traits are obtained by Mendelian Randomization integrating summary-level data from GWAS and whole-blood eQTLs. Applying this approach to complex traits reveals that forward effects have negligible contribution. For example, BMI- and triglycerides-gene expression correlation coefficients robustly correlate with trait-to-expression causal effects (r= 0.11, P= 2.0 × 10 and r= 0.13, P= 1.1 × 10), but not detectably with expression-to-trait effects. Our results demonstrate that studies comparing the transcriptome of diseased and healthy subjects are more prone to reveal disease-induced gene expression changes rather than disease causing ones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25805-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8463674PMC
September 2021

The Plasma Proteome Fingerprint Associated With Circulating Carotenoids And Retinol In Older Adults.

J Nutr 2021 Sep 22. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Although diets rich in carotenoids are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, disability, and other adverse aging outcomes, the underlying biological mechanisms are not fully elucidated.

Objectives: To characterize the plasma proteome fingerprint associated with circulating carotenoid and retinol concentrations in older adults.

Methods: In 728 adults, ≥65 years, participating in the Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) Study, plasma α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene were measured using high performance liquid chromatography. The SOMAscan assay was used to measure 1301 plasma proteins. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the relationship of individual carotenoids and retinol with plasma proteins. A false discovery rate approach was used to deal with multiple comparisons using a q-value <0.05.

Results: Plasma β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene were associated with 85, 39, 4, 2, and 5 plasma proteins, respectively, in multivariable linear regression models adjusting for potential confounders (q<0.05). No proteins were associated with α-carotene or retinol. Two or more carotenoids were positively associated with ferritin, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (decarboxylating), hepcidin, thrombospondin-2, and choline/ethanolamine kinase. The proteins associated with circulating carotenoids were related to energy metabolism, sirtuin signaling, inflammation and oxidative stress, iron metabolism, proteostasis, innate immunity, and longevity.

Conclusions: The plasma proteomic fingerprint associated with elevated circulating carotenoids in older adults provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the protective role of carotenoids on health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab340DOI Listing
September 2021

Genetic analysis of dietary intake identifies new loci and functional links with metabolic traits.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Dietary intake is a major contributor to the global obesity epidemic and represents a complex behavioural phenotype that is partially affected by innate biological differences. Here, we present a multivariate genome-wide association analysis of overall variation in dietary intake to account for the correlation between dietary carbohydrate, fat and protein in 282,271 participants of European ancestry from the UK Biobank (n = 191,157) and Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium (n = 91,114), and identify 26 distinct genome-wide significant loci. Dietary intake signals map exclusively to specific brain regions and are enriched for genes expressed in specialized subtypes of GABAergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurons. We identified two main clusters of genetic variants for overall variation in dietary intake that were differently associated with obesity and coronary artery disease. These results enhance the biological understanding of interindividual differences in dietary intake by highlighting neural mechanisms, supporting functional follow-up experiments and possibly providing new avenues for the prevention and treatment of prevalent complex metabolic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01182-wDOI Listing
August 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611832PMC
August 2021

Genome-wide association studies identify 137 genetic loci for DNA methylation biomarkers of aging.

Genome Biol 2021 06 29;22(1):194. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Biological aging estimators derived from DNA methylation data are heritable and correlate with morbidity and mortality. Consequently, identification of genetic and environmental contributors to the variation in these measures in populations has become a major goal in the field.

Results: Leveraging DNA methylation and SNP data from more than 40,000 individuals, we identify 137 genome-wide significant loci, of which 113 are novel, from genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of four epigenetic clocks and epigenetic surrogate markers for granulocyte proportions and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels, respectively. We find evidence for shared genetic loci associated with the Horvath clock and expression of transcripts encoding genes linked to lipid metabolism and immune function. Notably, these loci are independent of those reported to regulate DNA methylation levels at constituent clock CpGs. A polygenic score for GrimAge acceleration showed strong associations with adiposity-related traits, educational attainment, parental longevity, and C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusion: This study illuminates the genetic architecture underlying epigenetic aging and its shared genetic contributions with lifestyle factors and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02398-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243879PMC
June 2021

Proteomics and Epidemiological Models of Human Aging.

Front Physiol 2021 31;12:674013. Epub 2021 May 31.

Biomedical Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health, Baltimore, MD, United States.

Human aging is associated with a decline of physical and cognitive function and high susceptibility to chronic diseases, which is influenced by genetics, epigenetics, environmental, and socio-economic status. In order to identify the factors that modulate the aging process, established measures of aging mechanisms are required, that are both robust and feasible in humans. It is also necessary to connect these measures to the phenotypes of aging and their functional consequences. In this review, we focus on how this has been addressed from an epidemiologic perspective using proteomics. The key aspects of epidemiological models of aging can be incorporated into proteomics and other omics which can provide critical detailed information on the molecular and biological processes that change with age, thus unveiling underlying mechanisms that drive multiple chronic conditions and frailty, and ideally facilitating the identification of new effective approaches for prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.674013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8202502PMC
May 2021

Autopsy case of fatal hypoglycemia following ingestion of a therapeutic dose of tramadol.

Forensic Sci Med Pathol 2021 Sep 9;17(3):465-468. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan, Iseigaoka 1-1, Yahatanishi, Kitakyushu, Japan.

An 86-year-old female was found unconscious the day after taking a prescribed tablet containing a combination of tramadol and acetaminophen. At admission to the hospital, marked hypoglycemia (blood glucose: 4 mg/dL) was confirmed, but serum insulin and C-peptide were within the normal range, which suggested that neither endogenous hyperinsulinemia nor exogenous insulin administration was responsible for the hypoglycemia. Despite resuscitation efforts, the woman subsequently died. At autopsy, there was renal disorder, but any pathological abnormalities that could have caused hypoglycemia were not observed. Blood tramadol and acetaminophen were in the therapeutic range. We speculate that the cause of fatal hypoglycemia was tramadol intake at the therapeutic dose. Older age and renal insufficiency are factors that could have potentially caused the fatal hypoglycemia in this case despite tramadol having been taken at a therapeutic dose. This is the first case report of fatal hypoglycemia following ingestion of a therapeutic dose of tramadol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-021-00386-wDOI Listing
September 2021

The Role of Brain Methamidophos in Acephate Poisoning in Mice.

J UOEH 2021 ;43(2):197-203

Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan.

We gave mice a 540 mg/kg dose of LD50 acephate, followed by an assessment of acephate, methamidophos (MP), and choline esterase (ChE) activity for up to 4 hours (hr) in order to investigate the time course of acephate intoxication. At 1 hr, the blood acephate and MP levels were 428 ± 90 µg/ml (mean ± SEM) and 4.2 ± 0.4 µg/ ml, respectively. The liver acephate levels were similar to those in the blood, but the liver MP levels were approximately 3.5 times that of the blood at 1 hr. The brain MP level tended to be higher than the blood MP at 1 hr. These levels decreased gradually over 4 hr, but the brain acephate and MP levels surpassed the blood levels significantly at 4 hr, and after 2 hr, respectively. Serum, liver, cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem cholinesterase activity (ChE) were inhibited at 1 hr, and remained inhibited in all but the cerebellum until the end of the experiment. The obtained data were applied to previously reported autopsy cases of acephate intake. Experimental data suggest that brain MP is involved in acute acephate-induced poisoning, even after a reduction in blood acephate. In autopsy cases with suspected acephate poisoning, the MP level in the brain should be considered in addition to the ChE activity to diagnose the cause of death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7888/juoeh.43.197DOI Listing
January 2021

Association of Adherence to the Mediterranean-Style Diet with Lower Frailty Index in Older Adults.

Nutrients 2021 Mar 30;13(4). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Longitudinal Study Section, Translation Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Identifying modifying protective factors to promote healthy aging is of utmost public health importance. The frailty index (FI) reflects the accumulation of health deficits and is one widely used method to assess health trajectories in aging. Adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet (MTD) has been associated with favorable health trajectories. Therefore, this study explored whether adherence to a MTD is negatively associated with FI in the InCHIANTI study. Participants ( = 485) included individuals over 65 years of age at baseline with complete data over a follow-up period of 10 years. MTD was computed on a scale of 0-9 and categorized based on these scores into three groups of low (≤3), medium (4-5), and high (≥6) adherence. Being in a high or medium adherence group was associated with 0.03 and 0.013 unit lower FI scores over the follow-up period, compared to the low adherence group. In participants with a low FI at baseline, being in a high or medium MTD-adherence group had 0.004 and 0.005 unit/year slower progression of FI compared to the low adherence group. These study results support adherence to a MTD as a protective strategy to maintain a lower FI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13041129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065455PMC
March 2021

Epigenome-wide association study of whole blood gene expression in Framingham Heart Study participants provides molecular insight into the potential role of CHRNA5 in cigarette smoking-related lung diseases.

Clin Epigenetics 2021 03 22;13(1):60. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

The Framingham Heart Study, 73 Mt. Wayte Avenue, Framingham, MA, 01702, USA.

Background: DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification that can directly affect gene regulation. DNA methylation is highly influenced by environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, which is causally related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. To date, there have been few large-scale, combined analyses of DNA methylation and gene expression and their interrelations with lung diseases.

Results: We performed an epigenome-wide association study of whole blood gene expression in ~ 6000 individuals from four cohorts. We discovered and replicated numerous CpGs associated with the expression of cis genes within 500 kb of each CpG, with 148 to 1,741 cis CpG-transcript pairs identified across cohorts. We found that the closer a CpG resided to a transcription start site, the larger its effect size, and that 36% of cis CpG-transcript pairs share the same causal genetic variant. Mendelian randomization analyses revealed that hypomethylation and lower expression of CHRNA5, which encodes a smoking-related nicotinic receptor, are causally linked to increased risk of COPD and lung cancer. This putatively causal relationship was further validated in lung tissue data.

Conclusions: Our results provide a large and comprehensive association study of whole blood DNA methylation with gene expression. Expression platform differences rather than population differences are critical to the replication of cis CpG-transcript pairs. The low reproducibility of trans CpG-transcript pairs suggests that DNA methylation regulates nearby rather than remote gene expression. The putatively causal roles of methylation and expression of CHRNA5 in relation to COPD and lung cancer provide evidence for a mechanistic link between patterns of smoking-related epigenetic variation and lung diseases, and highlight potential therapeutic targets for lung diseases and smoking cessation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01041-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986283PMC
March 2021

Proteomics in aging research: A roadmap to clinical, translational research.

Aging Cell 2021 04 17;20(4):e13325. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Biomedical Research Centre, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD, USA.

The identification of plasma proteins that systematically change with age and, independent of chronological age, predict accelerated decline of health is an expanding area of research. Circulating proteins are ideal translational "omics" since they are final effectors of physiological pathways and because physicians are accustomed to use information of plasma proteins as biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and tracking the effectiveness of treatments. Recent technological advancements, including mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, multiplexed proteomic assay using modified aptamers (SOMAscan), and Proximity Extension Assay (PEA, O-Link), have allowed for the assessment of thousands of proteins in plasma or other biological matrices, which are potentially translatable into new clinical biomarkers and provide new clues about the mechanisms by which aging is associated with health deterioration and functional decline. We carried out a detailed literature search for proteomic studies performed in different matrices (plasma, serum, urine, saliva, tissues) and species using multiple platforms. Herein, we identified 232 proteins that were age-associated across studies. Enrichment analysis of the 232 age-associated proteins revealed metabolic pathways previously connected with biological aging both in animal models and in humans, most remarkably insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1), cytokine signaling, Forkhead Box O (FOXO) metabolic pathways, folate metabolism, advance glycation end products (AGE), and receptor AGE (RAGE) metabolic pathway. Information on these age-relevant proteins, likely expanded and validated in longitudinal studies and examined in mechanistic studies, will be essential for patient stratification and the development of new treatments aimed at improving health expectancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045948PMC
April 2021

Genome sequencing analysis identifies new loci associated with Lewy body dementia and provides insights into its genetic architecture.

Nat Genet 2021 03 15;53(3):294-303. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Reta Lila Weston Institute, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

The genetic basis of Lewy body dementia (LBD) is not well understood. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing in large cohorts of LBD cases and neurologically healthy controls to study the genetic architecture of this understudied form of dementia, and to generate a resource for the scientific community. Genome-wide association analysis identified five independent risk loci, whereas genome-wide gene-aggregation tests implicated mutations in the gene GBA. Genetic risk scores demonstrate that LBD shares risk profiles and pathways with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, providing a deeper molecular understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this age-related neurodegenerative condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00785-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946812PMC
March 2021

Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 04;30(5):393-409

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10-11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10-10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10-122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098112PMC
April 2021

Protein signatures of centenarians and their offspring suggest centenarians age slower than other humans.

Aging Cell 2021 02 29;20(2):e13290. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Geriatric Section, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Using samples from the New England Centenarian Study (NECS), we sought to characterize the serum proteome of 77 centenarians, 82 centenarians' offspring, and 65 age-matched controls of the offspring (mean ages: 105, 80, and 79 years). We identified 1312 proteins that significantly differ between centenarians and their offspring and controls (FDR < 1%), and two different protein signatures that predict longer survival in centenarians and in younger people. By comparing the centenarian signature with 2 independent proteomic studies of aging, we replicated the association of 484 proteins of aging and we identified two serum protein signatures that are specific of extreme old age. The data suggest that centenarians acquire similar aging signatures as seen in younger cohorts that have short survival periods, suggesting that they do not escape normal aging markers, but rather acquire them much later than usual. For example, centenarian signatures are significantly enriched for senescence-associated secretory phenotypes, consistent with those seen with younger aged individuals, and from this finding, we provide a new list of serum proteins that can be used to measure cellular senescence. Protein co-expression network analysis suggests that a small number of biological drivers may regulate aging and extreme longevity, and that changes in gene regulation may be important to reach extreme old age. This centenarian study thus provides additional signatures that can be used to measure aging and provides specific circulating biomarkers of healthy aging and longevity, suggesting potential mechanisms that could help prolong health and support longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884029PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide meta-analysis of muscle weakness identifies 15 susceptibility loci in older men and women.

Nat Commun 2021 01 28;12(1):654. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Low muscle strength is an important heritable indicator of poor health linked to morbidity and mortality in older people. In a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 256,523 Europeans aged 60 years and over from 22 cohorts we identify 15 loci associated with muscle weakness (European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People definition: n = 48,596 cases, 18.9% of total), including 12 loci not implicated in previous analyses of continuous measures of grip strength. Loci include genes reportedly involved in autoimmune disease (HLA-DQA1 p = 4 × 10), arthritis (GDF5 p = 4 × 10), cell cycle control and cancer protection, regulation of transcription, and others involved in the development and maintenance of the musculoskeletal system. Using Mendelian randomization we report possible overlapping causal pathways, including diabetes susceptibility, haematological parameters, and the immune system. We conclude that muscle weakness in older adults has distinct mechanisms from continuous strength, including several pathways considered to be hallmarks of ageing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20918-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844411PMC
January 2021

Butane detection after long-term treatment of burns in two autopsy cases.

Leg Med (Tokyo) 2021 Mar 13;49:101847. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan.

A man and a woman were rescued from a room that had exploded. Many empty cassette gas cylinders were found in the room. The man and woman were hospitalized immediately for the treatment of burns. The woman died 6 days later, and the man died 31 days later without regaining consciousness. Carbonization and hardening of the frontal facial skin and parts of the left and right fingers were observed on the man's body. In both cases, systemic burns had led to progressive systemic edema and markedly suppressed circulation. Analytical samples for butanes obtained from their bodies at autopsy were stored at -20 °C for 14 and 25 days, respectively, before analysis. Normal butane and isobutane were quantified in the brain and subcutaneous adipose tissue of the woman. Only the isobutane was quantified in the adipose tissue of the man. The evidence suggests that the man lit a cigarette while breathing gas and the entire room exploded. Our results also suggest that butane can be detected in the adipose tissue of autopsy cases long after inhalation even under the present storage conditions, and isobutane may remain in adipose tissue longer than n-butane.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2021.101847DOI Listing
March 2021

Age-associated difference in circulating ACE2, the gateway for SARS-COV-2, in humans: results from the InCHIANTI study.

Geroscience 2021 04 18;43(2):619-627. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 251 Bayview Blvd., Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the gateway for COVID-19 virus into the cells, have been implicated in worse COVID-19 outcomes associated with aging and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Data on age-associated differences in circulating ACE2 levels in humans and the role of CVD and medications is limited. We analyzed data from 967 participants of the InCHIANTI study, a community-dwelling cohort in the Chianti region, Italy. Relative abundance of ACE2 in plasma was assessed using a proteomics platform. CVD diagnoses, use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) antagonists: ACEi, ARBs, and aldosterone antagonists, were ascertained. Multiple linear analyses were performed to examine the independent association of ACE2 with age, CVD, and RAAS antagonist use. Age was independently associated with lower log (ACE2) in persons aged ≥ 55 years (STD β = - 0.12, p = 0.0002). ACEi treatment was also independently associated with significantly lower ACE2 levels, and ACE2 was inversely associated with weight, and positively associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD) status. There was a trend toward higher circulating ACE2 levels in hypertensive individuals, but it did not reach statistical significance. In a stratified analysis, the association between log (ACE2) and log (IL-6) was more evidenced in participants with PAD. Circulating ACE2 levels demonstrate curvilinear association with age, with older individuals beyond the sixth decade age having lower levels. ACEi was associated with greater circulating ACE2 levels. Interestingly, ACE2 was elevated in PAD and positively associated with inflammatory markers, suggesting compensatory upregulation in the setting of chronic inflammation. Further studies are needed to comprehensively characterize RAAS components with aging and disease, and assess its prognostic role in predicting COVID-19 outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-020-00314-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813532PMC
April 2021

Genome-wide association study identifies novel susceptibility loci for KIT D816V positive mastocytosis.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 8;108(2):284-294. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK.

Mastocytosis is a rare myeloid neoplasm characterized by uncontrolled expansion of mast cells, driven in >80% of affected individuals by acquisition of the KIT D816V mutation. To explore the hypothesis that inherited variation predisposes to mastocytosis, we performed a two-stage genome-wide association study, analyzing 1,035 individuals with KIT D816V positive disease and 17,960 healthy control individuals from five European populations. After quality control, we tested 592,007 SNPs at stage 1 and 75 SNPs at stage 2 for association by using logistic regression and performed a fixed effects meta-analysis to combine evidence across the two stages. From the meta-analysis, we identified three intergenic SNPs associated with mastocytosis that achieved genome-wide significance without heterogeneity between cohorts: rs4616402 (p = 1.37 × 10, OR = 1.52), rs4662380 (p = 2.11 × 10, OR = 1.46), and rs13077541 (p = 2.10 × 10, OR = 1.33). Expression quantitative trait analyses demonstrated that rs4616402 is associated with the expression of CEBPA (p = 2.3 × 10), a gene encoding a transcription factor known to play a critical role in myelopoiesis. The role of the other two SNPs is less clear: rs4662380 is associated with expression of the long non-coding RNA gene TEX41 (p = 2.55 × 10), whereas rs13077541 is associated with the expression of TBL1XR1, which encodes transducin (β)-like 1 X-linked receptor 1 (p = 5.70 × 10). In individuals with available data and non-advanced disease, rs4616402 was associated with age at presentation (p = 0.009; beta = 4.41; n = 422). Additional focused analysis identified suggestive associations between mastocytosis and genetic variation at TERT, TPSAB1/TPSB2, and IL13. These findings demonstrate that multiple germline variants predispose to KIT D816V positive mastocytosis and provide novel avenues for functional investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.12.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895845PMC
February 2021

Sex-dimorphic genetic effects and novel loci for fasting glucose and insulin variability.

Nat Commun 2021 01 5;12(1):24. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Differences between sexes contribute to variation in the levels of fasting glucose and insulin. Epidemiological studies established a higher prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in men and impaired glucose tolerance in women, however, the genetic component underlying this phenomenon is not established. We assess sex-dimorphic (73,089/50,404 women and 67,506/47,806 men) and sex-combined (151,188/105,056 individuals) fasting glucose/fasting insulin genetic effects via genome-wide association study meta-analyses in individuals of European descent without diabetes. Here we report sex dimorphism in allelic effects on fasting insulin at IRS1 and ZNF12 loci, the latter showing higher RNA expression in whole blood in women compared to men. We also observe sex-homogeneous effects on fasting glucose at seven novel loci. Fasting insulin in women shows stronger genetic correlations than in men with waist-to-hip ratio and anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, waist-to-hip ratio is causally related to insulin resistance in women, but not in men. These results position dissection of metabolic and glycemic health sex dimorphism as a steppingstone for understanding differences in genetic effects between women and men in related phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19366-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785747PMC
January 2021

Elevated Plasma Growth and Differentiation Factor 15 Predicts Incident Anemia in Older Adults Aged 60 Years and Older.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 06;76(7):1192-1197

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Anemia is common in older adults and associated with greater morbidity and mortality. The causes of anemia in older adults have not been completely characterized. Although elevated circulating growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) has been associated with anemia in older adults, it is not known whether elevated GDF-15 predicts the development of anemia. We examined the relationship between plasma GDF-15 concentrations at baseline in 708 nonanemic adults, aged 60 years and older, with incident anemia during 15 years of follow-up among participants in the Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) Study. During follow-up, 179 (25.3%) participants developed anemia. The proportion of participants who developed anemia from the lowest to highest quartile of plasma GDF-15 was 12.9%, 20.1%, 21.2%, and 45.8%, respectively. Adults in the highest quartile of plasma GDF-15 had an increased the risk of developing anemia (hazards ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.09, 1.21, p < .0001) compared to those in the lower 3 quartiles in a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for age, sex, serum iron, soluble transferrin receptor, ferritin, vitamin B12, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Circulating GDF-15 is an independent predictor for the development of anemia in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8202153PMC
June 2021

A Plasma Proteomic Signature of Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Function.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 15;21(24). Epub 2020 Dec 15.

National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Although mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in aging, physical function decline, and several age-related diseases, an accessible and affordable measure of mitochondrial health is still lacking. In this study we identified the proteomic signature of muscular mitochondrial oxidative capacity in plasma. In 165 adults, we analyzed the association between concentrations of plasma proteins, measured using the SOMAscan assay, and skeletal muscle maximal oxidative phosphorylation capacity assessed as post-exercise phosphocreatine recovery time constant (τ) by phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Out of 1301 proteins analyzed, we identified 87 proteins significantly associated with τ, adjusting for age, sex, and phosphocreatine depletion. Sixty proteins were positively correlated with better oxidative capacity, while 27 proteins were correlated with poorer capacity. Specific clusters of plasma proteins were enriched in the following pathways: homeostasis of energy metabolism, proteostasis, response to oxidative stress, and inflammation. The generalizability of these findings would benefit from replication in an independent cohort and in longitudinal analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765442PMC
December 2020

Pathogenic Huntingtin Repeat Expansions in Patients with Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Neuron 2021 02 26;109(3):448-460.e4. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Molecular Markers Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, Brescia 25125, Italy; MAC Memory Clinic, IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, Brescia 25125, Italy.

We examined the role of repeat expansions in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by analyzing whole-genome sequence data from 2,442 FTD/ALS patients, 2,599 Lewy body dementia (LBD) patients, and 3,158 neurologically healthy subjects. Pathogenic expansions (range, 40-64 CAG repeats) in the huntingtin (HTT) gene were found in three (0.12%) patients diagnosed with pure FTD/ALS syndromes but were not present in the LBD or healthy cohorts. We replicated our findings in an independent collection of 3,674 FTD/ALS patients. Postmortem evaluations of two patients revealed the classical TDP-43 pathology of FTD/ALS, as well as huntingtin-positive, ubiquitin-positive aggregates in the frontal cortex. The neostriatal atrophy that pathologically defines Huntington's disease was absent in both cases. Our findings reveal an etiological relationship between HTT repeat expansions and FTD/ALS syndromes and indicate that genetic screening of FTD/ALS patients for HTT repeat expansions should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.11.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864894PMC
February 2021

Dietary Pattern Trajectories in Middle Age and Physical Function in Older Age.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 02;76(3):513-519

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Background: Increasingly, lifestyle factors in midlife are reported to impact health and functional status in old age. This work examines associations between dietary trajectories in middle age and subsequent impairments in physical function.

Method: Data are from 851 participants (61% men, mean age at first dietary assessment = 47 years, range 30-59 years) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. We used latent class analysis to derive dietary trajectories based on adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI), and further classified them based on tertiles, as poor (score <39.3), intermediate (39.3-48.9), or good (>48.9). Physical function was assessed with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Random effects tobit regression models were used to examine associations between dietary trajectories and later physical function.

Results: Two latent classes of AHEI scores were generated and labeled "greatly improved" or "moderately improved." In the greatly improved class, participants showed a trend in overall AHEI score from poor/intermediate to good diet categories across dietary assessments with age, over time. In the moderately improved class, the overall AHEI score shifted from poor to intermediate diet categories over time, and the prevalence of the good diet category remained low. Mean AHEI score between ages 30 and 59 years was higher in the greatly, than moderately, improved class. The moderately improved class had 1.6 points lower SPPB score (indicating poorer physical function) at older age than the greatly improved class (p = .022).

Conclusions: Findings suggest that improving diet quality in middle age may contribute to better physical function in older age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907482PMC
February 2021

Plasma proteomic biomarker signature of age predicts health and life span.

Elife 2020 11 19;9. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, United States.

Older age is a strong shared risk factor for many chronic diseases, and there is increasing interest in identifying aging biomarkers. Here, a proteomic analysis of 1301 plasma proteins was conducted in 997 individuals between 21 and 102 years of age. We identified 651 proteins associated with age (506 over-represented, 145 underrepresented with age). Mediation analysis suggested a role for partial -epigenetic control of protein expression with age. Of the age-associated proteins, 33.5% and 45.3%, were associated with mortality and multimorbidity, respectively. There was enrichment of proteins associated with inflammation and extracellular matrix as well as senescence-associated secretory proteins. A 76-protein proteomic age signature predicted accumulation of chronic diseases and all-cause mortality. These data support the use of proteomic biomarkers to monitor aging trajectories and to identify individuals at higher risk of disease to be targeted for in depth diagnostic procedures and early interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.61073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723412PMC
November 2020

Characterization of the plasma proteomic profile of frailty phenotype.

Geroscience 2021 04 17;43(2):1029-1037. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Frailty is a risk factor for poor health outcomes in older adults. The aim of this study was to identify plasma proteomic biomarkers of frailty in 752 men and women older than 65 years of age from the InCHIANTI study. One thousand three hundred one plasma proteins were measured using an aptamer-based assay. Associations of each protein with frailty status were assessed using logistic regression and four proteins creatine kinase M-type (CKM), B-type (CKB), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13), and thrombospondin 2 (THBS2) were associated with frailty status. Two proteins, cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5/CDK5R1) and interleukin 1 alpha (IL1A), were associated with worsening of frailty status over time in volunteers free of frailty at baseline. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), data of 1301 proteins was able to discriminate between frail and non-frail with a 2% error rate. The proteins with greater discriminatory ability represented the inflammation, blood coagulation, and cell growth pathways. The utility of these proteins as biomarkers of frailty should be further explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-020-00288-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110642PMC
April 2021

Efficacy of DRIVEN-FLOW® M7-II, a new on-site drug screening kit in postmortem urine compared with Triage DOA®.

Leg Med (Tokyo) 2021 Feb 29;48:101804. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan.

The efficacy of DRIVEN-FLOW® M7-II(DFM7II) for seven drug groups was compared with Triage DOA® (Triage) using 340 autopsy urine samples taken from bodies within 1 month of death based on mass screening analysis of GC/MS and LC-MS/MS. The sensitivity to benzodiazepines was 0.56 in Triage and 0.53 in DFM7II with few false positives, and their accuracy was 0.88. Triage detected triazolo diazepine derivatives more easily than DFM7II. DFM7II detected diazepam and nitro benzodiazepines more easily than Triage. There were nine amphetamine false-positive cases of more than 10 days after death in Triage, but these were absent in DFM7II during this period. The accuracy of amphetamines for Triage was 0.96 and for DFM7II was 1. Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) was detected in five cases by mass analysis, while there were four false-positive cases using Triage and eight cases using DFM7II. In the TCA false-positive cases of both kits, tricyclic psychotics such as chlorpromazine, carbamazepine, and quetiapine were included as well as the drug poisoning cases. There were no samples containing cocaine or THC. The accuracy of DFM7II for opiate and barbiturates was 1, but those of Triage was less than 1. Based on the above, DFM7II is a more accurate kit with fewer false-positives for target drug groups, other than TCA, than Triage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2020.101804DOI Listing
February 2021

Association Between the Multidimensional Prognostic Index and Mortality During 15 Years of Follow-up in the InCHIANTI Study.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Aug;76(9):1678-1685

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Multidimensional Prognostic Index (MPI) is recognized as a prognostic tool in hospitalized patients, but data on the value of MPI in community-dwelling older persons are limited. Using data from a representative cohort of community-dwelling persons, we tested the hypothesis that MPI explains mortality during 15 years of follow-up.

Methods: A standardized comprehensive geriatric assessment was used to calculate the MPI and to categorize participants in low-, moderate-, and high-risk classes. The results were reported as hazard ratios (HRs) and the accuracy was evaluated with the area under the curve (AUC), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and the C-index. We also reported the median survival time by standard age groups.

Results: All 1453 participants (mean age 68.9 years, women = 55.8%) enrolled in the InCHIANTI study at baseline were included. Compared to low-risk group, participants in moderate (HR = 2.10; 95% CI: 1.73-2.55) and high-risk MPI group (HR = 4.94; 95% CI: 3.91-6.24) had significantly higher mortality risk. The C-index of the model containing age, sex, and MPI was 82.1, indicating a very good accuracy of this model in explaining mortality. Additionally, the time-dependent AUC indicated that the accuracy of the model incorporating MPI to age and sex was excellent (>85.0) during the whole follow-up period. Compared to participants in the low-risk MPI group across different age groups, those in moderate- and high-risk groups survived 2.9-7.0 years less and 4.3-8.9 years less, respectively.

Conclusions: In community-dwelling individuals, higher MPI values are associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality with a dose-response effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8361337PMC
August 2021

Underlying features of epigenetic aging clocks in vivo and in vitro.

Aging Cell 2020 10 15;19(10):e13229. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Epigenetic clocks, developed using DNA methylation data, have been widely used to quantify biological aging in multiple tissues/cells. However, many existing epigenetic clocks are weakly correlated with each other, suggesting they may capture different biological processes. We utilize multi-omics data from diverse human tissue/cells to identify shared features across eleven existing epigenetic clocks. Despite the striking lack of overlap in CpGs, multi-omics analysis suggested five clocks (Horvath1, Horvath2, Levine, Hannum, and Lin) share transcriptional associations conserved across purified CD14+ monocytes and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The pathways enriched in the shared transcriptional association suggested links between epigenetic aging and metabolism, immunity, and autophagy. Results from in vitro experiments showed that two clocks (Levine and Lin) were accelerated in accordance with two hallmarks of aging-cellular senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction. Finally, using multi-tissue data to deconstruct the epigenetic clock signals, we developed a meta-clock that demonstrated improved prediction for mortality and robustly related to hallmarks of aging in vitro than single clocks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7576259PMC
October 2020
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