BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- A joint study conducted by Chinese and U.S. researchers has shown how caloric restriction helps reverse the aging process in rats, providing insights into intervention strategies for aging and age-related diseases.
Previous studies have suggested caloric restriction as an important way to delay aging in animal models. However, little is known about the exact mechanisms that occur at a single-cell level.
Researchers from the Institute of Zoology and the Beijing Institute of Genomics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Salk Institute for Biological Studies as well as other institutions compared rats that ate 30 percent fewer calories with rats on normal diets.
They used single-cell transcriptome sequencing technology to analyze a total of more than 200,000 single cells and nuclei from nine types of tissues sampled from young and old rats subjected to ad libitum feeding, and old rats subjected to caloric restriction beginning in middle adulthood.
They systematically evaluated the effects of aging and caloric restriction on different types of tissues and cells. Results showed that the increase in the inflammatory response is a hallmark of aging, but it can be repressed by caloric restriction.
Liu Guanghui, one of the researchers, said the study provided details of what happens at a single-cell level during aging and showed the effect of calorie restriction on different cell types across multiple tissues.
The study will lay a foundation for the development of therapeutic strategies against aging and aging-related diseases, Liu said.
This study was published in the journal Cell.