Epigenetics of nutrition in aging

Gensous, Noemie Elise (2020) Epigenetics of nutrition in aging, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia, ematologia e patologia, 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9210.
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There is a need to identify factors that are able to influence health in old age and to develop interventions that could slow down the process of aging and its associated pathologies. Lifestyle modifications, and especially nutrition, appear to be promising strategies to promote healthy aging. Their impact on aging biomarkers has been poorly investigated. In the first part of this work, we evaluated the impact of a one-year Mediterranean-like diet, delivered within the framework of the NU-AGE project in 120 elderly subjects, on epigenetic age acceleration measures assessed with Horvath’s clock. We observed a rejuvenation of participants after nutritional intervention. The effect was more marked in the group of Polish females and in subjects who were epigenetically older at baseline. In the second part of this work, we developed a new model of epigenetic biomarker, based on a gene-targeted approach with the EpiTYPER® system. We selected six regions of interest (associated with ELOVL2, NHLRC1, SIRT7/MAFG, AIM2, EDARADD and TFAP2E genes) and constructed our model through a ridge regression analysis. In controls, estimation of chronological age was accurate, with a correlation coefficient between predicted and chronological age of 0.92 and a mean absolute deviation of 4.70 years. Our model was able to capture phenomena of accelerated or decelerated aging, in Down syndrome subjects and centenarians and offspring respectively. Applying our model to samples of the NU-AGE project, we observed similar results to the ones obtained with the canonical epigenetic clock, with a rejuvenation of the individuals after one-year of nutritional intervention. Together, our findings indicate that nutrition can promote epigenetic rejuvenation and that epigenetic age acceleration measures could be suitable biomarkers to evaluate their impact. We demonstrated that the effect of the dietary intervention is country-, sex- and individual-specific, thus suggesting the need for a personalized approach to nutritional interventions.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Gensous, Noemie Elise
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Aging, Epigenetics, Epigenetic clock, DNA methylation, Biomarkers, Nutrition
Data di discussione
26 Marzo 2020

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