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Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF-7)


Transcriptome analysis reveals immune-related gene expression changes with age in giant panda ([i]Ailuropoda melanoleuca[/i]) blood.

The giant panda ([i]Ailuropoda melanoleuca[/i]), an endangered species endemic to western China, has long been threatened with extinction that is exacerbated by highly contagious and fatal diseases. Aging is the most well-defined risk factor for diseases and is associated with a decline in immune function leading to increased susceptibility to infection and reduced response to vaccination. Therefore, this study aimed to determine which genes and pathways show differential expression with age in blood tissues. We obtained 210 differentially expressed genes by RNA-seq, including 146 up-regulated and 64 down-regulated genes in old pandas (18-21yrs) compared to young pandas (2-6yrs). We identified ISG15, STAT1, IRF7 and DDX58 as the hub genes in the protein-protein interaction network. All of these genes were up-regulated with age and played important roles in response to pathogen invasion. Functional enrichment analysis indicated that up-regulated genes were mainly involved in innate immune response, while the down-regulated genes were mainly related to B cell activation. These may suggest that the innate immunity is relatively well preserved to compensate for the decline in the adaptive immune function. In conclusion, our findings will provide a foundation for future studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying immune changes associated with ageing.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcriptome
  • Ursidae


  • ageing
  • gene expression
  • giant panda
  • immune system
  • transcriptome

Sirtuin 1-Chromatin-Binding Dynamics Points to a Common Mechanism Regulating Inflammatory Targets in SIV Infection and in the Aging Brain.

Microglia and macrophages are the main non-neuronal subsets of myeloid origin in the brain, and are critical regulators in neurodegenerative disorders, where inflammation is a key factor. Since HIV infection results in neurological perturbations that are similar to those in aging, we examined microglial and infiltrating myeloid subsets in the search for changes that might resemble the ones in aging. For that, we used the SIV infection in rhesus macaques to model neuroAIDS. We found that Sirt-1, a molecule that impacts survival and health in many models, was decreased in cell preparations containing a majority of microglia and myeloid cells from the brain of infected macaques. The role of Sirt-1 in neuroAIDS is unknown. We hypothesized that Sirt-1 silencing functions are affected by SIV. Mapping of Sirt-1 binding patterns to chromatin revealed that the number of Sirt-1-bound genes was 29.6% increased in myeloid cells from infected animals with mild or no detectable neuropathology, but 51% was decreased in severe neuropathology, compared to controls. Importantly, Sirt-1-bound genes in controls largely participate in neuroinflammation. Promoters of type I IFN pathway genes IRF7, IRF1, IFIT1, and AIF1, showed Sirt-1 binding in controls, which was consistently lost after infection, together with higher transcription. Loss of Sirt-1 binding was also found in brains from old uninfected animals, suggesting a common regulation. The role of Sirt-1 in regulating these inflammatory markers was confirmed in two different in vitro models, where Sirt-1 blockage modulated IRF7, IRF1 and AIF1 levels both in human macrophage cell lines and in human blood-derived monocytes from various normal donors, stimulated with a TLR9 agonist. Our data suggests that Sirt-1-inflammatory gene silencing is disturbed by SIV infection, resembling aging in brains. These findings may impact our knowledge on the contribution of myeloid subsets to the neurological consequences of HIV infection, aggravated and overlapping with the aging process.

MeSH Terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatin
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Macrophages
  • Microglia
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Sirtuin 1


  • Aging
  • HIV
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • SIV
  • Sirtuin-1

Age-related changes in murine myometrial transcript profile are mediated by exposure to the female sex hormones.

In humans, the risk of operative first delivery increases linearly with maternal age. We previously hypothesized that prolonged, cyclical, prepregnancy exposure to estrogen and progesterone contributes to uterine aging. Here, we test this hypothesis. Myometrium was obtained from four groups of virgin mice: (i) 10- to 12-week- and 28- to 30-week-old mice; (ii) 10- to 12-week- and 38- to 40-week-old mice; (iii) 38-week-old mice that had an ovariectomy or sham operation early in life; (iv) 38-week-old mice that had been treated with progesterone or vehicle containing implants from 8 to 36 weeks. Transcript profiling was carried out using Affymetrix Gene ST 1.1 arrays, and data were normalized. We identified 60 differentially regulated transcripts associated with advancing age (group 1). We validated these changes in group 2 (P for overlap = 5.8 × 10(-46) ). Early ovariectomy prevented the age-related changes in myometrial transcript profile. Similarly, progesterone-mediated long-term ovarian suppression prevented the age-related changes in myometrial transcript profile. Interferon regulatory factor 7 (Irf7) mRNA was regulated by age and hormonal exposure, and was identified as a predicted regulator of the other differentially expressed transcripts by both promoter sequence and canonical pathway activation analysis (P = 8.47 × 10(-5) and P < 10(-10) , respectively). Immunohistochemistry demonstrated IRF7 in both mouse and human myometrium. We conclude the following: (i) Myometrial aging in mice is associated with reproducible changes in transcript profile; (ii) these changes can be prevented by interventions which inhibit cyclical changes in the female sex hormones; and (iii) IRF7 may be an important regulator of myometrial function and aging.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Estradiol
  • Estrogens
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Myometrium
  • Ovariectomy
  • Progesterone
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • IRF7
  • aging
  • labor
  • myometrium
  • steroid