People are living longer than ever. Consequently, they have a greater chance for developing a functional impairment or aging-related disease, such as a neurodegenerative disease, later in life. Thus, it is important to identify and understand mechanisms underlying aging as well as the potential for rejuvenation. Therefore, we used next-generation sequencing to identify differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) in serum exosomes isolated from young (three-month-old) and old (22-month-old) rats and then used bioinformatics to explore candidate genes and aging-related pathways. We identified 2844 mRNAs and 68 miRNAs that were differentially expressed with age. TargetScan revealed that 19 of these miRNAs are predicated to target the 766 mRNAs. Pathways analysis revealed signaling components targeted by these miRNAs: mTOR, AMPK, eNOS, IGF, PTEN, p53, integrins, and growth hormone. In addition, the most frequently predicted target genes regulated by these miRNAs were EIF4EBP1, insulin receptor, PDK1, PTEN, paxillin, and IGF-1 receptor. These signaling pathways and target genes may play critical roles in regulating aging and lifespan, thereby validating our analysis. Understanding the causes of aging and the underlying mechanisms may lead to interventions that could reverse certain aging processes and slow development of aging-related diseases.
- Aging-related disease
- Functional enrichment analysis
- Ingenuity pathway analysis
- MiRNA-mRNA networks