Aging is associated with cellular damage and the body’s decreased ability to “clean itself up,” which is known as autophagy. Those associations of aging were reversed when plasma from younger individuals were administered to older individuals through multiple mechanisms, including reoxygenation. Keep in mind, this study was done in rats.
Aging is often associated with a decreased autophagic activity that contributes to the high sensitivity of aged livers to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI). Blood from young animals can positively affect aged animals. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of young plasma in a model of liver IRI in aged rats. Aged rats were treated with pooled plasma collected from young rats before ischemia. Administration of young plasma restored aging-induced suppression in hepatic autophagic activity and reduced liver IRI. Inhibition of the young-plasma-restored autophagic activity abrogated the beneficial effect of young plasma against liver IRI. Similarly, young serum restored autophagic activity and reduced cellular injury after hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) in primary old rat hepatocytes. Mechanistic studies showed thatadministration of young plasma increased AMPK phosphorylation and led to unc-51-like autophagy activating kinase (ULK)1 activation. Furthermore, AMPK-inhibition abrogated the young serum-induced ULK1 activation and autophagic activity and diminished the protective action of young serum against H/R injury in primary old rat hepatocytes, whereas AMPK-activation potentiated the effects of young serum. Young plasma could restore age-impaired autophagy, at least in part, via AMPK/ULK1 signaling. Restoration of age-impaired autophagic activity may be a critical contributing mechanism to young-plasma-afforded protection against liver IRI in aged rats.
-Liu, A., Yang, J., Hu, Q., Dirsch, O., Dahmen, U., Zhang, C., Gewirtz, D. A., Fang, H., Sun, J.