The gene expression profile of the aging process was analyzed in skeletal muscle of mice. Use of high-density oligonucleotide arrays representing 6347 genes revealed that aging resulted in a differential gene expression pattern indicative of a marked stress response and lower expression of metabolic and biosynthetic genes. Most alterations were either completely or partially prevented by caloric restriction, the only intervention known to retard aging in mammals. Transcriptional patterns of calorie-restricted animals suggest that caloric restriction retards the aging process by causing a metabolic shift toward increased protein turnover and decreased macromolecular damage.
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