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Rapalogs, inhibitors of mTORC1 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1), increase lifespan and delay age-related phenotypes in many species. However the molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We determined gene expression changes comparing 6 and 24-month old rats in the kidney, liver and skeletal muscle, and asked which of these changes were counter-regulated by a clinically-translatable (short-term and low-concentration) treatment, with a rapalog (RAD001). Surprisingly, RAD001 had a more pronounced effect on the kidney under this regimen in comparison to the liver or skeletal muscle. Histologic evaluation of kidneys revealed that the severity of chronic progressive nephropathy lesions was lower in kidneys from 24-month old rats treated with RAD001 compared with vehicle. In addition to other gene expression changes, c-Myc, which has been shown to regulate aging, was induced by aging in the kidney and counter-regulated by RAD001. RAD001 caused a decrease in c-Myc protein, which could be rescued by a proteasome inhibitor. These findings point to settings for use of mTORC1 inhibitors to treat age-related disorders, and highlight c-Myc regulation as one of the potential mechanisms by which mTORC1 inhibition is perturbing age-related phenotypes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
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