DOI: 10.1126/science.ade4961 ISSN:

Aging impairs the neurovascular interface in the heart

Julian U. G. Wagner, Lukas S. Tombor, Pedro Felipe Malacarne, Lisa-Maria Kettenhausen, Josefine Panthel, Haris Kujundzic, Nivethitha Manickam, Katja Schmitz, Maria Cipca, Kathrin A. Stilz, Ariane Fischer, Marion Muhly-Reinholz, Wesley T. Abplanalp, David John, Sarajo K. Mohanta, Christian Weber, Andreas J. R. Habenicht, Giulia K. Buchmann, Stephan Angendohr, Ehsan Amin, Katharina Scherschel, Nikolaj Klöcker, Malte Kelm, Dominik Schüttler, Sebastian Clauss, Stefan Günther, Thomas Boettger, Thomas Braun, Christian Bär, Minh-Duc Pham, Jaya Krishnan, Susanne Hille, Oliver J. Müller, Tarik Bozoglu, Christian Kupatt, Eleonora Nardini, Selma Osmanagic-Myers, Christian Meyer, Andreas M. Zeiher, Ralf P. Brandes, Guillermo Luxán, Stefanie Dimmeler
  • Multidisciplinary

Aging is a major risk factor for impaired cardiovascular health. Because the aging myocardium is characterized by microcirculatory dysfunction, and because nerves align with vessels, we assessed the impact of aging on the cardiac neurovascular interface. We report that aging reduces nerve density in the ventricle and dysregulates vascular-derived neuroregulatory genes. Aging down-regulates microRNA 145 (miR-145) and derepresses the neurorepulsive factor semaphorin-3A. miR-145 deletion, which increased Sema3a expression or endothelial Sema3a overexpression, reduced axon density, mimicking the aged-heart phenotype. Removal of senescent cells, which accumulated with chronological age in parallel to the decline in nerve density, rescued age-induced denervation, reversed Sema3a expression, preserved heart rate patterns, and reduced electrical instability. These data suggest that senescence-mediated regulation of nerve density contributes to age-associated cardiac dysfunction.

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