Abstract # 208:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:30 AM-11:00 AM: Session 25 (San Geronimo Ballroom C) Oral Presentation


H. F. Urbanski
Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA
     Like humans, old rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) show significant disruption of their 24-hour activity-rest patterns. Interestingly, individual animals that show the most perturbation are the same ones that show the most cognitive impairment and decreased immune function. To gain insights into the underlying causal mechanisms we have used remote serial blood sampling to monitor the 24-hour profiles of several hormones, including melatonin, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), leptin, and testosterone, and have observed significant age-related changes. Furthermore, based on these findings we have developed hormone supplementation paradigms for aged monkeys that closely mimic the circulating hormone levels of young adults, both in terms of amplitude and circadian phase. We are currently examining the effect of these hormonal supplementations on various physiological functions, including activity-rest cycles, cognition and immune response. We have also initiated gene expression studies to examine the impact of hormonal manipulation on circadian genes in central brain areas and peripheral organs, including the adrenal gland, liver, kidneys and spleen. We suspect that age-related changes in circadian physiology may severely undermine the body’s ability to function normally in a changing environment. Consequently, a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms should provide insights into lifestyle changes that promote healthy aging, and should help with the development of novel therapies for human age-related disorders.