We have shown that restricted calorie intake retards age-associated loss in androgen responsiveness of the rat liver. Sustained androgen receptivity delays age-dependent decline in the synthesis of the androgen-inducible α2u globulin and derepression of the androgen-repressible senescence marker protein (SMP-2). Quantitation of mRNAs for α2u globulin and SMP-2 in the liver of animals of various ages maintained on either ad libitum or restricted diets revealed that, although the 27-month-old ad libitum-fed rat had only 5% as much α2u mRNA as the 6-month-old rat, the mRNA level was as high as 45% in the 27-month-old food-restricted rat. Conversely, the 27-month-old food-restricted rat had a much reduced amount (45%) of SMP-2 mRNA compared to the age-matched control that was allowed unlimited access to food. Furthermore, we have correlated the effect of dietary restriction on age-dependent changes in specific gene expression with the hepatic level of the immunoreactive cytoplasmic androgen-binding (CAB) protein. We observed that senescence in the male causes a substantial decrease in the circulating level of testosterone. However, dietary restriction does not retard the rate of decline in the plasma level of the male hormone during aging. These results indicate that age-dependent changes in the expression of androgen-responsive genes (α2u globulin and SMP-2) reflect changing androgen sensitivity and that food restriction may directly influence the androgen receptivity of the liver.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology