Gene expression changes with age in skin, adipose tissue, blood and brain

Glass, Daniel and Viñuela, Ana and Davies, Matthew N and Ramasamy, Adaikalavan and Parts, Leopold and Knowles, David and Brown, Andrew A and Hedman, Asa K and Small, Kerrin S and Buil, Alfonso and Grundberg, Elin and Nica, Alexandra C and Di Meglio, Paola and Nestle, Frank O and Ryten, Mina and Durbin, Richard and McCarthy, Mark I and Deloukas, Panagiotis and Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T and Weale, Michael E and Bataille, Veronique and Spector, Tim D and Tsaprouni, Loukia (2013) Gene expression changes with age in skin, adipose tissue, blood and brain. Genome biology, 14 (7). R75. ISSN 1474-760X

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Previous studies have demonstrated that gene expression levels change with age. These changes are hypothesized to influence the aging rate of an individual. We analyzed gene expression changes with age in abdominal skin, subcutaneous adipose tissue and lymphoblastoid cell lines in 856 female twins in the age range of 39-85 years. Additionally, we investigated genotypic variants involved in genotype-by-age interactions to understand how the genomic regulation of gene expression alters with age.


Using a linear mixed model, differential expression with age was identified in 1,672 genes in skin and 188 genes in adipose tissue. Only two genes expressed in lymphoblastoid cell lines showed significant changes with age. Genes significantly regulated by age were compared with expression profiles in 10 brain regions from 100 postmortem brains aged 16 to 83 years. We identified only one age-related gene common to the three tissues. There were 12 genes that showed differential expression with age in both skin and brain tissue and three common to adipose and brain tissues.


Skin showed the most age-related gene expression changes of all the tissues investigated, with many of the genes being previously implicated in fatty acid metabolism, mitochondrial activity, cancer and splicing. A significant proportion of age-related changes in gene expression appear to be tissue-specific with only a few genes sharing an age effect in expression across tissues. More research is needed to improve our understanding of the genetic influences on aging and the relationship with age-related diseases.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
26 July 2013Published
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-02 - biology (non-specific)
CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-07 - genetics
CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-08 - molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Loukia Tsaprouni
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 08:40
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:38

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