Aging and diets regulate the rat anterior pituitary and hypothalamic transcriptome

Karine Bédard, Julie Bédard, Ghislain Rocheleau, Guylaine Ferland, Pierrette Gaudreau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Dietary interventions involving caloric restriction represent a powerful strategy to prevent or delay age-related deteriorations and diseases. Their beneficial effects have been observed in several tissues and species. This microarray study investigated the effects of aging, long-term moderate caloric restriction (LTMCR) and long-term dietary soy on the regulation of gene expression in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus of 20-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats. In both tissues, aging regulated genes mainly involved in cell defense and repair mechanisms related to apoptosis, DNA repair, cellular stress, inflammatory and immune response. In the aging pituitary, the highest upregulated gene was the regenerating islet-derived 3β (5.77-fold), coding for a secretory protein involved in acute stress and inflammation. A protective effect of LTMCR on age-related change of gene expression was observed for 35 pituitary genes. In addition, beneficial effects of LTMCR in the pituitary were observed on new regulated genes mainly involved in cell death and cell stress response. In the hypothalamus, the effects of LTMCR on age-related changes were modest. Finally, changing the quality of dietary protein (20% casein for soy) had a low impact on the regulation of mRNA levels in both tissues. Genes associated with the somatotroph function were also differentially expressed in the aging pituitary. Interestingly, LTMCR prevented the effect of aging on insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 gene. Altogether, this study proposes novel pituitary and hypothalamic molecular targets and signaling pathways to help in understanding the mechanisms involved in aging processes and LTMCR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-159
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Anterior pituitary
  • Caloric restriction
  • Casein diet
  • Hypothalamus
  • Microarray
  • Soy diet


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