Inter-organ communication in the systemic control of aging
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Over the past decade, a large number of studies have highlighted the importance of tissue interactions in the regulation of longevity. These studies have shown that individual tissues can drive the rate of aging of the entire organism by influencing the systemic environment, and suggest that the systemic coordination of tissue homeostasis is a critical process of normal aging. Indeed, systemic factors appear to be critical in the regulation of tissue aging. Recent work has led to the discovery of both ‘pro-aging’ and ‘anti-aging’ systemic (bloodborne/endocrine) factors. Furthermore, exposing an old mouse to a young systemic environment (through heterochronic parabiosis) can promote the reversal of age-related tissue dysfunction. While systemic stress signals/factors likely mediate inter-organ communication in a variety of contexts impacting stress responses and tissue aging, very little is known about the nature of these signals. Genetically accessible model systems promise to help identify and characterize such signals. Utilizing the genetic capacity of Drosophila, this proposal describes a genetic model and research strategy to characterize systemic interactions that influence age-related changes in tissue regeneration, as well as provides a workflow for the identification and in vivo characterization of systemic ‘aging’ factors..........