Repeated Stress Can Accelerate Aging of the Eye

Full research paper:

Aging, a universal process that affects all cells in an organism, is a major risk factor for a group of neuropathies called glaucoma, where elevated intraocular pressure is one of the known stresses affecting the tissue. Our understanding of molecular impact of aging on response to stress in retina is very limited; therefore, we developed a new mouse model to approach this question experimentally. Here we show that susceptibility to response to stress increases with age and is primed on chromatin level. We demonstrate that ocular hypertension activates a stress response that is similar to natural aging and involves activation of inflammation and senescence. We show that multiple instances of pressure elevation cause aging of young retina as measured on transcriptional and DNA methylation level and are accompanied by local histone modification changes. Our data show that repeated stress accelerates appearance of aging features in tissues and suggest chromatin modifications as the key molecular components of aging. Lastly, our work further emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and prevention as well as age-specific management of age-related diseases, including glaucoma.

Stress induced aging in mouse eye