Moreover, identifying factors underlying deviations either in molecular age or in sets of age-dependent genes (See section on BDNF and SST) may provide insight into modulators of age and age-by-disease interactions, hence providing targets for potential therapeutic approaches and preventive
strategies. Modulators may include environmental components Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (diet, disease, exercise, drug exposure, etc), but evidence also suggests a genetic component into functional age trajectories. Here, before reviewing specificities of molecular aging in depression and potential genetic contributions, we review molecular aging and associated genes in the context of disease pathways. Molecular aging of the brain overlaps with biological pathways implicated in multiple brain disorders Specific ages of onset are core features of many neuropsychiatric disorders, ranging from late-onset neurodegenerative
diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases58 to earlier onset psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical bipolar disorder. Yet, despite their importance, the mechanism(s) underlying age thresholds are largely unknown. Studies have shown that slowing normal aging in model organisms (through genetic or environmental means) results in delayed onset Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of age-related disorders. For example, mice hypermorphic for the longevity gene, Klotho, live ~ 20% longer and have a corresponding delay in onset of disease59,60 and calorie-restricted primates demonstrated delayed incidence of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and brain atrophy.61 Together, these observations suggest Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical an overlap between age- and disease-related biological pathways. Following a broad survey of genes affected during aging and in diseases, we have now reported a large over-representation
of neurological-related genes within the human molecular Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical signature of aging.8 In fact, up to a third of genes affected during aging have also been associated in the literature with neuropsychiatric or other brain disorders. Conversely, only 4% of PD98059 chemical structure non-age-regulated genes are brain disease-related. next For instance, age- and mood disorder-related genes include genes coding for neuropeptides (SSZNPY, CCK, CRF), trophic factors (BDNF, IGF1, FGF), receptors (HTR2A, DRD1, CB1R, GABRAA5, FGF2R) and numerous other genes associated with diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders (MAOB, PER3, CLU, SYN, HTT, NRG1, RLN, TAU, PARK, PINK1, NFKB, SOD2, RGS4, etc).8 This observation that brain disorder-related genes are overrepresented among age-dependent genes, combined with the finding that the observed effects of aging on gene expression are mostly (>90%) in brain disorder-promoting directions, together suggest that the pathways to depression and other brain disorders in late life are aspects of normal molecular aging and may represent one mechanism by which aging precipitates their onset.