June 19, 2024

Researchers Identify a New Hallmark of Aging

A hallmark of aging is an unique quality that occurs in our bodies as we age and contributes to the decline in function and increased danger of age-related illness. These trademarks include changes at the cellular and molecular level, such as genomic instability, telomere reducing, epigenetic changes, and mitochondrial dysfunction, amongst others. Studying and understanding these trademarks is crucial in the field of aging research and the pursuit of healthy aging.
A new mechanism of aging has been uncovered by researchers: the build-up of sphingolipids. Ceramides, a commonly known class of sphingolipids, develop in aging muscle and minimize its function, impacting the practical capability of older grownups. These findings inspire the development of potential drugs for the treatment of aging.
A joint study from the University of Helsinki and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland found that ceramides, a class of fat particles understood as sphingolipids, start to build up in muscle during aging and hinder its function Ceramides play an important function in skin defense and are commonly discovered in skin care items. Regardless of their skin advantages, the effect of ceramides on aging has stayed uncertain previously.
As people age, the amount of muscle tissue generally decreases and practical capability is decreased. In the existing research study, the researchers observed that the variety of ceramides and other sphingolipid particles in muscle tissue increases when humans get older. Because sphingolipids serve as cells internal messengers, this makes a distinction.

” The link in between sphingolipids and aging and its related diseases is a interesting and broad subject, as they mediate a series of jobs in cells, consisting of cell department and differentiation along with insulin signaling,” states Pirkka-Pekka Laurila, MD, from the University of Helsinki and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
The study was recently released in the journal Nature Aging.
Decrease of ceramides boosts muscle strength and stem cell function.
To start with, the scientists examined whether hindering ceramide production in cells might halt sarcopenia, or muscle loss connected with aging. They administered the drug myriocin, which is known to inhibit the production of ceramides, to the intraperitoneal cavity of aging mice. Myriocin slowed down sarcopenia in the mice, preserving their muscle strength and improving their balance and running capability. It was found that the effects were related to muscle stem cell function.
Usually, the variety of stem cells in muscles decreases as we get older. “We found that when ceramide production was hindered, the number of muscle stem cells and their practical capability was much better maintained,” says Professor Johan Auwerx from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
In the mice receiving myriocin, stem cells better distinguished into mature muscle fibers, increasing the number of white muscle fibers that maintain muscle strength and speed.
A marked function in human aging too
The scientists wanted to study whether inhibition of ceramide synthesis could avoid muscle loss likewise in humans. They utilized countless samples collected from 70 to 80-year-old Helsinki citizens in the comprehensive Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. The researchers discovered that 25% of the study topics had a gene variant that had the very same result as myriocin, decreasing the production of ceramides in the muscle.
” These older grownups with a genetic system for minimizing ceramide synthesis in muscle tissue were fitter for their age, as manifested by increased handgrip strength and capability to stand and walk long ranges up from a chair. This leads us to the conclusion that a pharmaceutical preventing the production of sphingolipids might be worth screening in people,” says Professors Jari Lahti from the University of Helsinki, who was included in the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study headed by professor Johan Eriksson.
The study opens a brand-new research study line on the impact of ceramides and other sphingolipids in aging and provides support for the advancement of prospective therapeutic strategies including sphingolipids likewise in human beings.
Referral: “Sphingolipids build up in aged muscle, and their decrease counteracts sarcopenia” by Pirkka-Pekka Laurila, Martin Wohlwend, Tanes Imamura de Lima, Peiling Luan, Sébastien Herzig, Nadège Zanou, Barbara Crisol, Maroun Bou-Sleiman, Eleonora Porcu, Hector Gallart-Ayala, Michal K. Handzlik, Qi Wang, Suresh Jain, Davide DAmico, Minna Salonen, Christian M. Metallo, Zoltan Kutalik, Thomas O. Eichmann, Nicolas Place, Julijana Ivanisevic, Jari Lahti, Johan G. Eriksson and Johan Auwerx, 16 December 2022, Nature Aging.DOI: 10.1038/ s43587-022-00309-6.

Ceramides, a widely known class of sphingolipids, build up in aging muscle and decrease its function, impacting the functional capability of older adults. In the existing research study, the researchers observed that the number of ceramides and other sphingolipid molecules in muscle tissue increases when human beings grow older. To begin with, the scientists examined whether hindering ceramide production in cells might stop sarcopenia, or muscle loss associated with aging. The researchers wanted to study whether inhibition of ceramide synthesis could avoid muscle loss likewise in people. The scientists found that 25% of the study topics had a gene variant that had the same impact as myriocin, minimizing the production of ceramides in the muscle.