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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • cardiomyocytes;
  • IGF-1;
  • intracellular Ca2+;
  • pro- and anti-apoptotic protein

Summary

A fall in circulating levels of cardiac survival factor insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) contributes to cardiac aging. To better understand the role of IGF-1 in cardiac aging, we examined the influence of cardiac IGF-1 overexpression on lifespan, cardiomyocyte intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, protein damage, apoptosis and expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins in young and old mice. Mouse survival rate was constructed by the Kaplan–Meier curve. Intracellular Ca2+ was evaluated by fura-2 fluorescence. Protein damage was determined by protein carbonyl formation. Apoptosis was assessed by caspase-8 expression, caspase-3 and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling) assay. Pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins including Bax, p53, pp53, Bcl2, Omi/HtrA2, apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain (ARC) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) were assessed by Western blot. Aging decreased plasma in IGF-1 levels, elevated myocyte resting intracellular Ca2+ levels, reduced electrically stimulated rise in intracellular Ca2+ and delayed intracellular Ca2+ decay associated with enhanced protein carbonyl formation, caspase-8 expression and caspase-3 activity in FVB mice, all of which with the exception of elevated resting intracellular Ca2+ were attenuated by IGF-1. Aging up-regulated expression of Bax, Bcl2 and ARC, down-regulated XIAP expression and did not affect p53, pp53 and Omi/HtrA2. The IGF-1 transgene attenuated or nullified aging-induced changes in Bax, Bcl2 and XIAP. Our data suggest a beneficial role for IGF-1 in aging-induced survival, cardiac intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, protein damage and apoptosis possibly related to pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins.