Age- and gender-dependent changes in circulating concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 and sulfated glycosaminoglycan in healthy people

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BackgroundIn this study, the effect of gender and physiological ageing on circulating concentrations of plasma sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) as well as molecules involved in pro- (tumor necrosis factor-α; TNF-α) and antiinflammatory responses (soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1, sTNF-RI) were assessed. The relationships between sGAG and molecules involved in age-dependent extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling during physiological ageing were also investigated.MethodsCirculating TNF-α and sTNF-RI were measured in 91 healthy volunteers using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. sGAG were quantified using an Alcian blue-binding assay.ResultsA linear age-related decline in plasma sGAG was found during the first five decades of life (r = −0.61, p < 0.05), followed by an increase occurring only in females (r = 0.46, p < 0.05). Circulating TNF-α concentrations were inversely correlated with age (r = −0.24, p < 0.05) over the lifetime. For TNF-α, the observed changes were gender specific. Serum sTNF-RI concentrations were not affected by age in either men or women. A significant positive correlation was found between the concentrations of TNF-α and both sGAG (r = 0.22, p < 0.05) and sTNF-RI (r = 0.21, p < 0.05).ConclusionsOur data demonstrate that physiological ageing is associated with ECM remodeling, reflected by plasma sGAGs concentrations. Changes in the ECM metabolism during the ageing process were influenced by circulating TNF-α. Furthermore, serum concentrations of biomolecules involved in pro- and anti-inflammatory responses are not increased in healthy elderly subjects.

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