Elucidating the role of age induced alterations in adipose tissue
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Adipose tissue is a dynamic tissue involved in hormonal, immune, and metabolic processes. Although mostly studied in the context of obesity, it has become increasingly important to study adipose tissue changes in response to aging due to an increasing elderly population. Here we profiled the transcriptomic changes of aged rats in epidydimal, subcutaneous and brown adipose depots through RNA sequencing technology. Consistent with previous characterizations of aging mouse models, we observed reduced mitochondrial gene expression and increased inflammatory pathways in the epidydimal adipose tissue of aged rats. On the contrary, in the subcutaneous adipose tissue we observed a distinct transcriptomic profile from mouse models of aging. Our results show an increased mitochondrial gene expression while a decrease in inflammatory related genes suggesting a possible a possible role of the subcutaneous depot in the adaption to metabolic and immune changes associated with age. Additionally, our results suggest an increase in leukocyte infiltration and decrease in organ morphogenesis and development in brown adipose tissue of aged rats. Moreover, In Silico studies performed to assess the age-related effects on secreted factors, revealed significant changes in the expression of adipose-secreted exosome cargo that have potential for long range interaction with other organs. Thus, overall our results indicate that adipose tissue aging in rats may have some unique features. Furthermore, our data highlights the intricacies of adipose tissue and the dramatic differences between adipose depots.