How does the growth differentiation factor 11 regulate lifespan?
Image credit: Adapted from: https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/25890/circulating-factors-affecting-human-health-longevity
By Shubhankar Kulkarni on Aug 11, 2020
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GDF11 may promote a calorie restriction-like phenotype
In a recent study by hudobenko and colleagues, it was found that GDF11 levels were reduced as mice and humans aged. Furthermore, supplementation with GDF11 was able to decrease the risk of mortality in mice after an induced stroke. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7244081/) As already mentioned, there are conflicting reports about GDF11. Egerman suggests that GDF11 levels increase in aged humans and rats. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26001423/) However, other researchers have suggested that the increased GDF11 level reported by Egerman was not GDF11 but was an immunoglobulin light chain that appeared due to the cross-reactivity of the specific antibody used. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4748736/) Furthermore, GDF11 and GDF8 share high homology. Previous studies may not have used methods that could distinguish these two factors properly. Camparini and colleagues used LC‐MS/MS‐based assay in combination with immunoprecipitation (IP) to distinguish between the two factors, and they found that both GDF11 and GDF8 levels were reduced in aged female mice. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/pmic.201900104). GDF11 may mimic/enhance calorie restriction-like effects to regulate lifespan. In a study, GDF11 was substantially enhanced in aged mice on calorie restriction compared to the controls. Furthermore, the usage of exogenous GDF11 was able to induce adiponectin production and improve insulin/IGF‐1 signaling. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acel.13038) Therefore, GDF11 may regulate lifespan by inducing a calorie restriction-like phenotype.
by Jamila Ahmed on Aug 18, 2020