Research Paper Volume 5, Issue 9 pp 692—703

Age-associated miRNA Alterations in Skeletal Muscle from Rhesus Monkeys reversed by caloric restriction

Evi M. Mercken1, , Elisa Majounie2, , Jinhui Ding2, , Rong Guo3, , Jiyoung Kim3, , Michel Bernier1, , Julie Mattison1, , Mark R. Cookson2, , Myriam Gorospe3, , Rafael de Cabo1, , Kotb Abdelmohsen3, ,

  • 1 Experimental Gerontology Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
  • 2 Cell Biology and Gene Expression Section, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
  • 3 Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA

Received: August 16, 2013       Accepted: September 7, 2013       Published: September 9, 2013
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2013 Mercken et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) are altered under different conditions such as cancer, senescence, and aging. Here, we have identified differentially expressed miRNAs in skeletal muscle from young and old rhesus monkeys using RNA sequencing. In old muscle, several miRNAs were upregulated, including miR-451, miR-144, miR-18a and miR-15a, while a few miRNAs were downregulated, including miR-181a and miR-181b. A number of novel miRNAs were also identified, particularly in old muscle. We also examined the impact of caloric restriction (CR) on miRNA abundance by reverse transcription (RT) followed by real-time, quantitative (q)PCR analysis and found that CR rescued the levels of miR-181b and chr1:205580546, and also dampened the age-induced increase in miR-451 and miR-144 levels. Our results reveal that there are changes in expression of known and novel miRNAs with skeletal muscle aging and that CR may reverse some of these changes to a younger phenotype.


ALS: Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis; CR: caloric restriction; DMD: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; IL: interleukin; MD: Muscular Dystrophy; RISC: RNA-induced silencing complex; TNFα: tumor necrosis factor alpha.