Influence of Normal Aging on Brain Autophagy: A Complex Scenario.
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Misfolded proteins are pathological findings in some chronic neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Aging is a major risk factor for these disorders, suggesting that the mechanisms responsible for clearing misfolded proteins from the brain, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosomal pathway, may decline with age. Although autophagic mechanisms have been found to decrease with age in many experimental models, whether they do so in the brain is unclear. This review examines the literature with regard to age-associated changes in macroautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in the central nervous system (CNS). Beclin 1, LC3-II, and the LC3-II/LC3-I ratio have frequently been used to examine changes in macroautophagic activity, while lamp2a and HSPA8 (also known as hsc70) have been used to measure CMA activity. Three gene expression analyses found evidence for an age-related downregulation of macroautophagy in human brain, but no published studies were found of age-related changes in CMA in human brain, although cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of HSPA8 were reported to decrease with age. Most studies of age-related changes in brain autophagy in experimental animals have found age-related declines in macroautophagy, and macroautophagy is necessary for normal lifespan in
Loeffler DA. Influence of Normal Aging on Brain Autophagy: A Complex Scenario. Front Aging Neurosci. 2019 Mar 11;11:49. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00049. PMID: 30914945; PMCID: PMC6421305.