Age-Dependent Fibro-Inflammatory Signature in Mouse Ovaries | Aging-US



October 31, 2023

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  • Aging-US published this priority research paper as the cover for Volume 15, Issue 20, entitled, "Proteomic quantification of native and ECM-enriched mouse ovaries reveals an age-dependent fibro-inflammatory signature" by researchers from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA; Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. DOI - Corresponding authors - Francesca E. Duncan -, and Birgit Schilling - Abstract The ovarian microenvironment becomes fibrotic and stiff with age, in part due to increased collagen and decreased hyaluronan. However, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex network of hundreds of proteins, glycoproteins, and glycans which are highly tissue specific and undergo pronounced changes with age. To obtain an unbiased and comprehensive profile of age-associated alterations to the murine ovarian proteome and ECM, we used a label-free quantitative proteomic methodology. We validated conditions to enrich for the ECM prior to proteomic analysis. Following analysis by data-independent acquisition (DIA) and quantitative data processing, we observed that both native and ECM-enriched ovaries clustered separately based on age, indicating distinct age-dependent proteomic signatures. We identified a total of 4,721 proteins from both native and ECM-enriched ovaries, of which 383 proteins were significantly altered with advanced age, including 58 ECM proteins. Several ECM proteins upregulated with age have been associated with fibrosis in other organs, but to date their roles in ovarian fibrosis are unknown. Pathways regulating DNA metabolism and translation were downregulated with age, whereas pathways involved in ECM remodeling and immune response were upregulated. Interestingly, immune-related pathways were upregulated with age even in ECM-enriched ovaries, suggesting a novel interplay between the ECM and the immune system. Moreover, we identified putative markers of unique immune cell populations present in the ovary with age. These findings provide evidence from a proteomic perspective that the aging ovary provides a fibroinflammatory milieu, and our study suggests target proteins which may drive these age-associated phenotypes for future investigation. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, reproductive aging, ovary, proteomics, extracellular matrix, data-independent acquisition About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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