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Mech Ageing Dev. 2010 Jun;131(6):389-404. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2010.05.005. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Inflammatory and age-related pathologies in mice with ectopic expression of human PARP-1.

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University of Konstanz, Molecular Toxicology Group, Konstanz, Germany.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a sensor for DNA strand breaks and some unusual DNA structures and catalyzes poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of nuclear proteins with NAD(+) serving as substrate. PARP-1 is involved in the regulation of genomic integrity, transcription, inflammation, and cell death. Due to its versatile role, PARP-1 is discussed both as a longevity factor and as an aging-promoting factor. Recently, we generated a mouse model with ectopic integration of full-length hPARP-1 [Mangerich, A., Scherthan, H., Diefenbach, J., Kloz, U., van der Hoeven, F., Beneke, S. and Bürkle, A., 2009. A caveat in mouse genetic engineering: ectopic gene targeting in ES cells by bidirectional extension of the homology arms of a gene replacement vector carrying human PARP-1. Transgenic Res. 18, 261-279]. Here, we show that hPARP-1 mice exhibit impaired survival rates accompanied by reduced hair growth and premature development of several inflammation and age-associated pathologies, such as adiposity, kyphosis, nephropathy, dermatitis, pneumonitis, cardiomyopathy, hepatitis, and anemia. Moreover, mutant male mice showed impaired glucose tolerance, yet without developing manifest diabetes. Overall tumor burden was comparable in wild-type and hPARP-1 mice, but tumor spectrum was shifted in mutant mice, showing lower incidence of sarcomas, but increased incidence of carcinomas. Furthermore, DNA repair was delayed in splenocytes of hPARP-1 mice, and gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines was dysregulated. Our results suggest that in hPARP-1 mice impaired DNA repair, accompanied by a continuous low-level increase in pro-inflammatory stimuli, causes development of chronic diseases leading to impaired survival.

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