Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 24 pp 25694—25716
Age-dependent expression changes of circadian system-related genes reveal a potentially conserved link to aging
- 1 Bioinformatics/High Throughput Analysis, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
- 2 FLI Leibniz Institute for Age Research, Jena, Germany
- 3 Hans Berger Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany
- 4 German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany
- 5 European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC), Jena, Germany
Received: March 16, 2021 Accepted: December 1, 2021 Published: December 19, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203788
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Barth et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The circadian clock system influences the biology of life by establishing circadian rhythms in organisms, tissues, and cells, thus regulating essential biological processes based on the day/night cycle. Circadian rhythms change over a lifetime due to maturation and aging, and disturbances in the control of the circadian system are associated with several age-related pathologies.
However, the impact of chronobiology and the circadian system on healthy organ and tissue aging remains largely unknown. Whether aging-related changes of the circadian system’s regulation follow a conserved pattern across different species and tissues, hence representing a common driving force of aging, is unclear.
Based on a cross-sectional transcriptome analysis covering 329 RNA-Seq libraries, we provide indications that the circadian system is subjected to aging-related gene alterations shared between evolutionarily distinct species, such as Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Danio rerio, and Nothobranchius furzeri. We discovered differentially expressed genes by comparing tissue-specific transcriptional profiles of mature, aged, and old-age individuals and report on six genes (per2, dec2, cirp, klf10, nfil3, and dbp) of the circadian system, which show conserved aging-related expression patterns in four organs of the species examined. Our results illustrate how the circadian system and aging might influence each other in various tissues over a long lifespan and conceptually complement previous studies tracking short-term diurnal and nocturnal gene expression oscillations.