The Na/K-ATPase Oxidant Amplification Loop Regulates Aging

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As aging involves oxidant injury, we examined the role of the recently described Na/K-ATPase oxidant amplification loop (NKAL). First, C57Bl6 old mice were given a western diet to stimulate oxidant injury or pNaKtide to antagonize the NKAL. The western diet accelerated functional and morphological evidence for aging whereas pNaKtide attenuated these changes. Next, human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) were exposed to different types of oxidant stress in vitro each of which increased expression of senescence markers, cell-injury, and apoptosis as well as stimulated the NKAL. Further stimulation of the NKAL with ouabain augmented cellular senescence whereas treatment with pNaKtide attenuated it. Although N-Acetyl Cysteine and Vitamin E also ameliorated overall oxidant stress to a similar degree as pNaKtide, the pNaKtide produced protection against senescence that was substantially greater than that seen with either antioxidant. In particular, pNaKtide appeared to specifically ameliorate nuclear oxidant stress to a greater degree. These data demonstrate that the NKAL is intimately involved in the aging process and may serve as a target for anti-aging interventions.