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Circ Res. 2016 Jan 8;118(1):29-37. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.307521. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Circulating Growth Differentiation Factor 11/8 Levels Decline With Age.

Author information

1
From the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (T.P., A.V., P.Y., C.M.-T., A.U., F.S.L., J.R.P., M.C., J.G., R.M.T., E.G., A.J.W., Y.W.F., R.T.L.); Brigham Regenerative Medicine Center and Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (T.P., A.V., P.Y., C.M.-T., A.U., F.S.L., J.R.P., R.M.T., E.G., Y.W.F., R.T.L.); Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, OH (R.G.W., T.B.T.); and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA (M.C., J.G., A.J.W.).
2
From the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (T.P., A.V., P.Y., C.M.-T., A.U., F.S.L., J.R.P., M.C., J.G., R.M.T., E.G., A.J.W., Y.W.F., R.T.L.); Brigham Regenerative Medicine Center and Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (T.P., A.V., P.Y., C.M.-T., A.U., F.S.L., J.R.P., R.M.T., E.G., Y.W.F., R.T.L.); Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, OH (R.G.W., T.B.T.); and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA (M.C., J.G., A.J.W.). RLee@bwh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) and GDF8 are members of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily sharing 89% protein sequence homology. We have previously shown that circulating GDF11 levels decrease with age in mice. However, a recent study by Egerman et al reported that GDF11/8 levels increase with age in mouse serum.

OBJECTIVE:

Here, we clarify the direction of change of circulating GDF11/8 levels with age and investigate the effects of GDF11 administration on the murine heart.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We validated our previous finding that circulating levels of GDF11/8 decline with age in mice, rats, horses, and sheep. Furthermore, we showed by Western analysis that the apparent age-dependent increase in GDF11 levels, as reported by Egerman et al, is attributable to cross-reactivity of the anti-GDF11 antibody with immunoglobulin, which is known to increase with age. GDF11 administration in mice rapidly activated SMAD2 and SMAD3 signaling in myocardium in vivo and decreased cardiac mass in both young (2-month-old) and old (22-month-old) mice in a dose-dependent manner after only 9 days.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study confirms an age-dependent decline in serum GDF11/8 levels in multiple mammalian species and that exogenous GDF11 rapidly activates SMAD signaling and reduces cardiomyocyte size. Unraveling the molecular basis for the age-dependent decline in GDF11/8 could yield insight into age-dependent cardiac pathologies.

KEYWORDS:

Gdf11 protein, mouse; Mstn protein, mouse; aging; intercellular signaling peptides and proteins; transforming growth factor-β

PMID:
26489925
PMCID:
PMC4748736
DOI:
10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.307521
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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