Elucidation of the mechanism of changes in the antioxidant function with the aging in the liver of the senescence-accelerated mouse P10 (SAMP10)

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Senescence-accelerated mice are known to display a variety of deficits and signs of accelerated aging, but the specific mechanisms involved in this process are still unclear. In this study, we examined the expression levels of antioxidant enzymes, transcription factors responsible for the regulation of expression of these enzymes, and mitochondrial proteins in the liver of SAMP10 and SAMR1 mice at 3 and 12 months of age using western blotting analysis. To investigate the amount of oxidative damage to DNA, levels of 8-OHdG were measured in the liver of these mice. At 3 months of age, the levels of catalase, Mn-SOD, GPx, UQCRC2 and COXIV were significantly upregulated in SAMP10 mice compared with that in SAMR1 mice. However, NDUFS3 levels were not significantly different at this young age. In contrast, the expression level of catalase was significantly lower, and the levels of phosphorylated FoxO-1a and UQCRC2 were significantly higher in SAMP10 mice compared to those in SAMR1 mice; however, at 12 months of age, there were no significant differences in Mn-SOD, GPx, total -FoxO-1a, COXIV, and NDUFS3 expression between the two groups of mice. The levels of 8-OHdG in the liver were markedly higher in 12-month-old SAMP10 mice than those in 3-month-old SAMP10 and SAMR1 mice. These results suggest that an increase in number of mitochondria or a collapse in the balance between the levels of complexes I and III results in an increase in the amount of ROS and induces the expression of antioxidant enzymes in the liver of SAMP10 mice at 3 months of age. Although young SAMP10 mice produce a large amount of ROS, they also produce suitable levels of antioxidant enzymes that decompose ROS; consequently accelerated aging does not occur in young SAMP10 mice. In addition to excessive ROS production which is an important cause of aging, the level of catalase was significantly lower in SAMP10 than that in SAMR1 mice. These results suggested that overexpression of ROS and a decrease in the levels of catalase resulted in the accelerated aging observed in older SAMP10 mice. Moreover, the level of phosphorylated FoxO-1a was increased in SAMP10 compared to that in SAMR1 mice though the total amount of FoxO-1a was not significantly different between the two groups in old age. These results suggest that some impairment in the regulation mechanism of FoxO-1a phosphorylation is responsible for abnormal catalase expression and that a significant decrease in the level of catalase with aging decisively affects the metabolic balance of ROS; thus, ROS that cannot be metabolized contributes to the accelerated aging of SAMP10 mice.

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