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Aging is a physiological process characterized by an age-progressive decline in intrinsic physiological functions, with an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic conditions, such as insulin resistance and diabetes. Furthermore, from a physiopathological point of view, several authors describe an association between oxidative stress, hypoxia and these metabolic conditions. It had been suggested that adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction, senescent cell accumulation and proinflammatory pathways may be involved in this processes. The purpose of this study was to develop an in vitro model to study the progressive morphological and functional changes of adipocytes with aging, in standard culture conditions and after severe hypoxia and hydrogen peroxide treatment. We evaluated the degree of apoptosis and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation as well as the gene expression profile of aging adipocytes. Our results show that aged adipocytes become senescent, undergo apoptosis, accumulate ROS, and present an inflammatory profile with an increase in mRNA expression level of key proteins related to the remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Aged adipocytes present increased levels of p53, p21 and p16, key regulators of senescence, and a decrease in SIRT-1 protein compared to younger cells. Moreover, adipocytes aged in hypoxia or in oxidative stress conditions represent a model of accelerated aging with a decrease in their area, a greater proportion of apoptotic and of intracellular ROS accumulation compared to controls. This study characterizes the progressive morphological and functional changes in aging adipocytes during prolonged cell cultures and explores the addictive effects of hypoxia and oxidation, given at different stages of cellular maturation and senescence.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Experimental gerontology
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