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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • endothelium-dependent dilation;
  • superoxide;
  • superoxide dismutase;
  • sirituin-1

Summary

To determine if short-term calorie restriction reverses vascular endothelial dysfunction in old mice, old (O, n = 30) and young (Y, n = 10) male B6D2F1 mice were fed ad libitum (AL) or calorie restricted (CR, approximately 30%) for 8 weeks. Ex vivo carotid artery endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) was impaired in old ad libitum (OAL) vs. young ad libitum (YAL) (74 ± 5 vs. 95 ± 2% of maximum dilation, P < 0.05), whereas old calorie-restricted (OCR) and YCR did not differ (96 ± 1 vs. 94 ± 3%). Impaired EDD in OAL was mediated by reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability associated with decreased endothelial NO synthase expression (aorta) (P < 0.05), both of which were restored in OCR. Nitrotyrosine, a cellular marker of oxidant modification, was markedly elevated in OAL (P < 0.05), whereas OCR was similar to Y. Aortic superoxide production was 150% greater in OAL vs. YAL (P < 0.05), but normalized in OCR, and TEMPOL, a superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic that restored EDD in OAL (to 97 ± 2%), had no effect in Y or OCR. OAL had increased expression and activity of the oxidant enzyme, NADPH oxidase, and its inhibition (apocynin) improved EDD, whereas NADPH oxidase in OCR was similar to Y. Manganese SOD activity and sirtuin1 expression were reduced in OAL (P < 0.05), but restored to Y in OCR. Inflammatory cytokines were greater in OAL vs. YAL (P < 0.05), but unaffected by CR. Carotid artery endothelium-independent dilation did not differ among groups. Short-term CR initiated in old age reverses age-associated vascular endothelial dysfunction by restoring NO bioavailability, reducing oxidative stress (via reduced NADPH oxidase–mediated superoxide production and stimulation of anti-oxidant enzyme activity), and upregulation of sirtuin-1.