Age-Related Adverse Inflammatory and Metabolic Changes Begin Early in Adulthood.


Aging is characterized by deleterious immune and metabolic changes, but the onset of these changes is unknown. We measured immune and metabolic biomarkers in adults beginning at age 30. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate these biomarkers in adults aged 30 to over 80. Biomarkers were quantified in 961 adults. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), tumor necrosis factor receptor I (TNFR-I), tumor necrosis factor receptor II (TNFR-II), interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, VCAM-I, D-Dimer, G-CSF, regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), adiponectin, and paraoxonase activity were measured by ELISA. Acylcarnitines and amino acids (AAs) were measured by mass spectrometry and reduced to a single factor using principal components analysis (PCA). Glycine was analyzed separately. The relationship between age and biomarkers was analyzed by linear regression with sex, race, and body mass index (BMI) as covariates. Age was positively correlated with TNF-α, TNFR-I, TNFR-II, IL-6, IL-2, VCAM-1, D-Dimer, MMP-3, adiponectin, acylcarnitines, and AAs. Age was negative correlated with G-CSF, RANTES, and paraoxonase activity. BMI was significant for all biomarkers except IL-2, VCAM-1, RANTES, paraoxonase activity, and the AA factor. Excluding MMP-3, greater BMI was associated with potentially adverse changes in biomarker concentrations. Age-related changes in immune and metabolic biomarkers, known to be associated with poor outcomes in older adults, begin as early as the thirties.





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Daniel Christopher Parker

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Biological aging is the greatest risk factor for most chronic diseases, including frailty and dementia. The geroscience hypothesis posits that interventions that target aspects of biological aging may delay or prevent many of these diseases simultaneously. My research centers on understanding the mechanisms of interventions that affect biological aging, like exercise training and caloric restriction and using that understanding to develop therapies that maintain cognitive and physical function in older adults.


Olga Ilkayeva

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Olga Ilkayeva, Ph.D., is the Director of the Metabolomics Core Laboratory at Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. She received her Ph.D. training in Cell Regulation from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX. Her postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Newgard at Duke University Medical Center focused on lipid metabolism and regulation of insulin secretion. As a research scientist at the Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Dr. Ilkayeva expanded her studies to include the development of targeted mass spectrometry analyses. Currently, she works on developing and validating quantitative mass spectrometry methods used for metabolic profiling of various biological models with emphasis on diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and the role of gut microbiome in both health and disease.


James R. Bain

Professor in Medicine

Miriam C. Morey

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

The general focus of Dr. Morey's work is exercise and aging. All of her research examines how physical activity, exercise training, or physical fitness influence the physical functioning and/or pyschosocial quality of life of older adults. She directs a supervised hospital-based program for older adults, which is used to examine longitudinally the effects of exercise training on the musculoskeletal, articular, and cardiorespiratory systems. Furthermore, she has a number of studies that examine how system-wide impairments serve as preclinical indicators of disability and overall decline in the quality of life of older adults. Ongoing studies examine the role of exercise training in attenuation or reversal of functional decline and examination of the effectivenes of different methods of physical activity counseling for home-based exercise.
Dr. Morey's research evolves directly from three sources: (1) primary analyses of clinical trials regarding the impact of exercise on a specific outcome, (2) longitudinal analyses of participants in ongoing clinical exercise programs, and (3) secondary analyses of clinical trials which involve exercise or physical activity.
Although physical activity and exercise are the interventions of interest in all of these studies, the outcomes of interest vary considerably. Within the broad domain of aging, Dr. Morey has examined the impact of exercise on physical performance, well-being, sleep quality, disability, and functional limitations. More recently, Dr. Morey has several studies focusing on the effect of tailored telephone physical activity counseling to improve function in elders. Specific studies are targeted to newly diagnosed cancer survivors, long-term cancer survivors, and frail elders in geriatric and primary care settings.
Dr. Morey's expertise is in the area of exercise physiology and aging. She has specific knowledge in age-related changes in cardiorespiratory functioning, the effects of habitual exercise (longitudinal) on performance, and exercise programming for older adults.

Key Words: Exercise, maximal oxygen uptake, cardiorespiratory fitness, aging, disability,
functional limitations, longitudinal

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