Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 15 pp 5518—5534
Frailty in middle age is associated with frailty status and race-specific changes to the transcriptome
- 1 Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
- 2 Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
received: March 5, 2019 ; accepted: July 27, 2019 ; published: August 8, 2019 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102135
How to Cite
Copyright © 2019 Prince et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Frailty is an aging-associated syndrome resulting from diminished capacity to respond to stressors and is a significant risk factor for disability and mortality. Although frailty is usually studied in old age, it is present in mid-life. Given the increases in mortality statistics among middle-aged Americans, understanding molecular drivers of frailty in a younger, diverse cohort may facilitate identifying pathways for early intervention. We analyzed frailty-associated, genome-wide transcriptional changes in middle-aged blacks and whites. Next generation RNA sequencing was completed using total RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (n = 16). We analyzed differential gene expression patterns and completed a parametric analysis of gene set enrichment (PAGE). Differential gene expression was validated using RT-qPCR (n = 52). We identified 5,082 genes differentially expressed with frailty. Frailty altered gene expression patterns and biological pathways differently in blacks and whites, including pathways related to inflammation and immunity. The validation study showed a significant two-way interaction between frailty, race, and expression of the cytokine IL1B and the transcription factor EGR1. The glucose transporter, SLC2A6, the neutrophil receptor, FCGR3B, and the accessory protein, C17orf56, were decreased with frailty. These results suggest that there may be demographic dependent, divergent biological pathways underlying frailty in middle-aged adults.