Mouse liver plasma membrane redox system activity is altered by aging and modulated by calorie restriction

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Caloric restriction (CR) is known as the only non-genetic method proven to slow the rate of aging and extend lifespan in animals. Free radicals production emerges from normal metabolic activity and generates the accumulation of oxidized macromolecules, one of the main characteristics of aging. Due to its central role in cell bioenergetics, a great interest has been paid to CR-induced modifications in mitochondria, where CR has been suggested to decrease reactive oxygen species production. The plasma membrane contains a trans-membrane redox system (PMRS) that provides electrons to recycle lipophilic antioxidants, such as α-tocopherol and coenzyme Q (CoQ), and to modulate cytosolic redox homeostasis. In the present study, we have investigated age differences in the PMRS in mouse liver and their modulation by CR. Aging induced a decrease in the ratio of CoQ10/CoQ9 and α-tocopherol in liver PM from AL-fed mice that was attenuated by CR. CoQ-dependent NAD(P)H dehydrogenases highly increased in CR old mice liver PMs. On the other hand, the CoQ-independent NADH-FCN reductase activity increased in AL-fed animals; whereas, in mice under CR this activity did not change during aging. Our results suggest that liver PMRS activity changes during aging and that CR modulates these changes. By this mechanism CR maintains a higher antioxidant capacity in liver PM of old animals by increasing the activity of CoQ-dependent reductases. Also, the putative role of PMRS in the modulation of redox homeostasis of cytosol is implicated.

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