Blood serum study reveals networks of proteins that impact aging

August 3, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report
blood
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A team of researchers from several institutions in Iceland and the U.S. has conducted a unique blood serum investigation and discovered multiple protein networks that are involved in the aging process. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study and what they found.

Prior research has shown that when older mice have their blood systems connected to younger mice, the older mice experience improvements in age-related organ deterioration. This finding has led scientists to suspect that aging might be caused by something in the blood. In this new effort, the researchers sought to test this idea by studying proteins in the circulatory system.

The study consisted of analyzing blood samples from 5,457 people living in Iceland, all of whom were over the age of 65 and who were participants in an ongoing study called Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility. The volunteers had also been chosen specifically to represent a cross section of the people living in Iceland. The major part of the analysis involved creating a panel of DNA aptamers (short sequences that bind to proteins) that could be used to recognize proteins, both known and unknown. Blood serum from the volunteers was then compared against the panels and the results were analyzed by a computer looking for patterns.

The researchers report that they discovered 27 networks that showed evidence of coordinated pattern expression. These networks, or modules, as the researchers call them, were different from one another in size and form and were made of proteins from both tissue and organs. They also report that many of the modules had expression patterns that have in the past been associated with age-related diseases such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome—and there were some that were also associated with mortality in the years after the samples were taken from the volunteers. The group suggests their findings offer more evidence of the role plays in the aging process.

The researchers report that they also looked for the means by which the networks they discovered are regulated and found that approximately 60 percent of mechanisms involved are unknown.

Explore further: Researchers find word choices can reflect stress-related changes in gene expression

More information: Valur Emilsson et al. Co-regulatory networks of human serum proteins link genetics to disease, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1327

Related Stories

Researchers find word choices can reflect stress-related changes in gene expression

November 7, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from the University of Arizona, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California has found that the word choices people make can be reflected in stress-related gene expression ...

Gene mutation behind protein that helps regulate cholesterol levels identified

June 8, 2018
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has identified a gene mutation that is at least partly responsible for regulating cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. In their paper published in the ...

Potential RNA markers of abnormal heart rhythms identified in circulating blood

March 19, 2018
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It increases the risk of developing strokes, heart failure, and even dementia. Although associated with aging, high blood ...

Skin found to play a role in controlling blood pressure

October 25, 2017
Skin plays a surprising role in helping regulate blood pressure and heart rate, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. While this discovery was made in mice, the researchers ...

In longitudinal studies, dried blood spot samples have a role to play

July 26, 2017
Longitudinal studies of disease require collecting biofluids, preferentially blood. But getting serum blood samples takes the work of a professional, and storing thousands of such samples at -80 degrees C means using a lot ...

Aging mice given blood plasma from young humans regain youthful attributes

November 17, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers working at a company called Alkahest has reported at this year's Society for Neuroscience annual meeting that injections of blood plasma from young human beings caused aging mice to ...

Recommended for you

Using light to stop itch

December 17, 2018
Itch is easily one of the most annoying sensations. For chronic skin diseases like eczema, it's a major symptom. Although it gives temporary relief, scratching only makes things worse because it can cause skin damage, additional ...

Law professor suggests a way to validate and integrate deep learning medical systems

December 13, 2018
University of Michigan professor W. Nicholson Price, who also has affiliations with Harvard Law School and the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, suggests in a Focus piece published in Science Translational Medicine, ...

Exercise-induced hormone irisin triggers bone remodeling in mice

December 13, 2018
Exercise has been touted to build bone mass, but exactly how it actually accomplishes this is a matter of debate. Now, researchers show that an exercise-induced hormone activates cells that are critical for bone remodeling ...

Faster test for Ebola shows promising results in field trials

December 13, 2018
A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Senegal and Guinea, in cooperation with Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), has developed a faster test for the Ebola virus than those currently in use. In their paper published ...

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in brain independently of one another

December 13, 2018
Pain is a negative sensation that we want to get rid of as soon as possible. In order to protect our bodies, we react by withdrawing the hand from heat, for example. This action is usually understood as the consequence of ...

Drug targets for Ebola, Dengue, and Zika viruses found in lab study

December 13, 2018
No drugs are currently available to treat Ebola, Dengue, or Zika viruses, which infect millions of people every year and result in severe illness, birth defects, and even death. New research from the Gladstone Institutes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.