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1.
Front Genet ; 13: 819749, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902953

ABSTRACT

The host epigenetic landscape rapidly changes during SARS-CoV-2 infection, and evidence suggest that severe COVID-19 is associated with durable scars to the epigenome. Specifically, aberrant DNA methylation changes in immune cells and alterations to epigenetic clocks in blood relate to severe COVID-19. However, a longitudinal assessment of DNA methylation states and epigenetic clocks in blood from healthy individuals prior to and following test-confirmed non-hospitalized COVID-19 has not been performed. Moreover, the impact of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines upon the host epigenome remains understudied. Here, we first examined DNA methylation states in the blood of 21 participants prior to and following test-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at a median time frame of 8.35 weeks; 756 CpGs were identified as differentially methylated following COVID-19 diagnosis in blood at an FDR adjusted p-value < 0.05. These CpGs were enriched in the gene body, and the northern and southern shelf regions of genes involved in metabolic pathways. Integrative analysis revealed overlap among genes identified in transcriptional SARS-CoV-2 infection datasets. Principal component-based epigenetic clock estimates of PhenoAge and GrimAge significantly increased in people over 50 following infection by an average of 2.1 and 0.84 years. In contrast, PCPhenoAge significantly decreased in people fewer than 50 following infection by an average of 2.06 years. This observed divergence in epigenetic clocks following COVID-19 was related to age and immune cell-type compositional changes in CD4+ T cells, B cells, granulocytes, plasmablasts, exhausted T cells, and naïve T cells. Complementary longitudinal epigenetic clock analyses of 36 participants prior to and following Pfizer and Moderna mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination revealed that vaccination significantly reduced principal component-based Horvath epigenetic clock estimates in people over 50 by an average of 3.91 years for those who received Moderna. This reduction in epigenetic clock estimates was significantly related to chronological age and immune cell-type compositional changes in B cells and plasmablasts pre- and post-vaccination. These findings suggest the potential utility of epigenetic clocks as a biomarker of COVID-19 vaccine responses. Future research will need to unravel the significance and durability of short-term changes in epigenetic age related to COVID-19 exposure and mRNA vaccination.

2.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1507(1): 70-83, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673249

ABSTRACT

For many years, it was believed that the aging process was inevitable and that age-related diseases could not be prevented or reversed. The geroscience hypothesis, however, posits that aging is, in fact, malleable and, by targeting the hallmarks of biological aging, it is indeed possible to alleviate age-related diseases and dysfunction and extend longevity. This field of geroscience thus aims to prevent the development of multiple disorders with age, thereby extending healthspan, with the reduction of morbidity toward the end of life. Experts in the field have made remarkable advancements in understanding the mechanisms underlying biological aging and identified ways to target aging pathways using both novel agents and repurposed therapies. While geroscience researchers currently face significant barriers in bringing therapies through clinical development, proof-of-concept studies, as well as early-stage clinical trials, are underway to assess the feasibility of drug evaluation and lay a regulatory foundation for future FDA approvals in the future.


Subject(s)
Aging/genetics , Aging/metabolism , Congresses as Topic/trends , Longevity/physiology , Research Report , Autophagy/physiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/genetics , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Humans , Metabolomics/methods , Metabolomics/trends , Nervous System Diseases/genetics , Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Stem Cell Transplantation/trends
3.
Innovation in aging ; 5(Suppl 1):4-5, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602265

ABSTRACT

Developing targeted therapies first requires a working definition of the condition of interest. Unfortunately for aging, this very initial step poses a challenge since chronological age is often not indicative of biological age nor modifiable. This symposium will demonstrate the enormous progress being made towards developing more reliable and valid measures for quantifying biological aging. First, Dr. Albert T. Higgins Chen will show how inaccuracy caused by noise at individual CpG sites can lead to high technical variability in the most widely applied biomarkers of aging—epigenetic clocks. He will further discuss how this can be overcome through novel statistical techniques. Second, Dr. Benoit Lehallier, will discuss plasma proteomic clocks and share insights into their potential roles in Alzheimer's disease and utilization in clinical trials. Third, quantifying the multifactorial aging process can be facilitated by projects incorporating multimodal biomarker data. Pei-Lun Kuo from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging will present an analysis of longitudinal trajectories of more than 30 phenotypes, which when combined into a single summarized score yield important insights. Fourth, our ability to uncover aging mechanisms and perform drug screens, requires valid and reliable measures that can be applied in vitro. Christopher Minteer who developed in cellulo epigenetic markers will demonstarte how epigenetic aging changes that can be induced in culture shed light on aging in vivo. Finally, a summarizing discussion will be held by Dr. Nir Barzilai, an expert in the field, who is leading the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) clinical trial.

4.
Innovation in Aging ; 5(Supplement_1):332-333, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1584626

ABSTRACT

Age and disease prevalence are the two biggest risk factors for COVID-19 symptom severity and death. We therefore hypothesized that increased biological age, beyond chronological age, may be driving disease-related trends in COVID-19 severity. Using the UK Biobank England data, we tested whether a biological age estimate (PhenoAge) measured more than a decade prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was predictive of two COVID-19 severity outcomes (inpatient test positivity and COVID-19 related mortality with inpatient test-confirmed COVID-19). Logistic regression models were used with adjustment for age at the pandemic, sex, ethnicity, baseline assessment centers, and pre-existing diseases/conditions. 613 participants tested positive at inpatient settings between March 16 and April 27, 2020, 154 of whom succumbed to COVID-19. PhenoAge was associated with increased risks of inpatient test positivity and COVID-19 related mortality (ORMortality=1.63 per 5 years, 95% CI: 1.43-1.86, p=4.7x10E-13) adjusting for demographics including age at the pandemic. Further adjustment for pre-existing disease s/conditions at baseline (OR_M=1.50, 95% CI: 1.30-1.73 per 5 years, p=3.1x10E-8) and at the early pandemic (OR_M=1.21, 95% CI: 1.04-1.40 per 5 years, p=0.011) decreased the association. PhenoAge measured in 2006-2010 was associated with COVID-19 severity outcomes more than 10 years later. These associations were partly accounted for by prevalent chronic diseases proximate to COVID-19 infection. Overall, our results suggest that aging biomarkers, like PhenoAge may capture long-term vulnerability to diseases like COVID-19, even before the accumulation of age-related comorbid conditions.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295686

ABSTRACT

The host epigenetic landscape is rapidly changed during SARS-CoV-2 infection and evidence suggests that severe COVID-19 is associated with durable scars to the epigenome. Specifically, aberrant DNA methylation changes in immune cells and alterations to epigenetic clocks in blood relate to severe COVID-19. However, a longitudinal assessment of DNA methylation states and epigenetic clocks in blood from healthy individuals prior to and following test-confirmed non-hospitalized COVID-19 has not been performed. Moreover, the impact of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines upon the host epigenome remains understudied. Here, we first examined DNA methylation states in blood of 21 participants prior to and following test confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at a median timeframe of 8.35 weeks. 261 CpGs were identified as differentially methylated following COVID-19 diagnosis in blood at an FDR adjusted P value <0.05. These CpGs were enriched in gene body and northern and southern shelf regions of genes involved in metabolic pathways. Integrative analysis revealed overlap among genes identified in transcriptional SARS-CoV-2 infection datasets. Principal component-based epigenetic clock estimates of PhenoAge and GrimAge significantly increased in people over 50 following infection by an average of 2.1 and 0.84 years. In contrast, PCPhenoAge significantly decreased in people under 50 following infection by an average of 2.06 years. This observed divergence in epigenetic clocks following COVID-19 was related to age and immune cell-type compositional changes in CD4+ T cells, B cells, granulocytes, plasmablasts, exhausted T cells, and naive T cells. Complementary longitudinal epigenetic clock analyses of 36 participants prior to and following Pfizer and Moderna mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination revealed vaccination significantly reduced principal component-based Horvath epigenetic clock estimates in people over 50 by an average of 3.91 years for those that received Moderna. This reduction in epigenetic clock estimates was significantly related to chronological age and immune cell-type compositional changes in B cells and plasmablasts pre- and post-vaccination. These findings suggest the potential utility of epigenetic clocks as a biomarker of COVID-19 vaccine responses. Future research will need to unravel the significance and durability of short-term changes in epigenetic age related to COVID-19 exposure and mRNA vaccination.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293557

ABSTRACT

The host epigenetic landscape is rapidly changed during SARS-CoV-2 infection and evidence suggests that severe COVID-19 is associated with durable scars to the epigenome. Specifically, aberrant DNA methylation changes in immune cells and alterations to epigenetic clocks in blood relate to severe COVID-19. However, a longitudinal assessment of DNA methylation states and epigenetic clocks in blood from healthy individuals prior to and following test-confirmed non-hospitalized COVID-19 has not been performed. Moreover, the impact of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines upon the host epigenome remains understudied. Here, we first examined DNA methylation states in blood of 21 participants prior to and following test confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at a median timeframe of 8.35 weeks. 261 CpGs were identified as differentially methylated following COVID-19 diagnosis in blood at an FDR adjusted P value <0.05. These CpGs were enriched in gene body and northern and southern shelf regions of genes involved in metabolic pathways. Integrative analysis revealed overlap among genes identified in transcriptional SARS-CoV-2 infection datasets. Principal component-based epigenetic clock estimates of PhenoAge and GrimAge significantly increased in people over 50 following infection by an average of 2.1 and 0.84 years. In contrast, PCPhenoAge significantly decreased in people under 50 following infection by an average of 2.06 years. This observed divergence in epigenetic clocks following COVID-19 was related to age and immune cell-type compositional changes in CD4+ T cells, B cells, granulocytes, plasmablasts, exhausted T cells, and naive T cells. Complementary longitudinal epigenetic clock analyses of 36 participants prior to and following Pfizer and Moderna mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination revealed vaccination significantly reduced principal component-based Horvath epigenetic clock estimates in people over 50 by an average of 3.91 years for those that received Moderna. This reduction in epigenetic clock estimates was significantly related to chronological age and immune cell-type compositional changes in B cells and plasmablasts pre- and post-vaccination. These findings suggest the potential utility of epigenetic clocks as a biomarker of COVID-19 vaccine responses. Future research will need to unravel the significance and durability of short-term changes in epigenetic age related to COVID-19 exposure and mRNA vaccination.

7.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750517

ABSTRACT

With no known treatments or vaccine, COVID-19 presents a major threat, particularly to older adults, who account for the majority of severe illness and deaths. The age-related susceptibility is partly explained by increased comorbidities including dementia and type II diabetes. While it is unclear why these diseases predispose risk, we hypothesize that increased biological age, rather than chronological age, may be driving disease-related trends in COVID-19 severity with age. To test this hypothesis, we applied our previously validated biological age measure (PhenoAge) composed of chronological age and nine clinical chemistry biomarkers to data of 347,751 participants from a large community cohort in the United Kingdom (UK Biobank), recruited between 2006 and 2010. Other data included disease diagnoses (to 2017), mortality data (to 2020), and the UK national COVID-19 test results (to May 31, 2020). Accelerated aging 10-14 years prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with test positivity (OR=1.15 per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.21, p=3.2x10-6) and all-cause mortality with test-confirmed COVID-19 (OR=1.25, per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.44, p=0.002) after adjustment for demographics including current chronological age and pre-existing diseases or conditions. The corresponding areas under the curves were 0.669 and 0.803, respectively. Biological aging, as captured by PhenoAge, is a better predictor of COVID-19 severity than chronological age, and may inform risk stratification initiatives, while also elucidating possible underlying mechanisms, particularly those related to inflammaging.

8.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 76(8): e133-e141, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120179

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Age and disease prevalence are the 2 biggest risk factors for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptom severity and death. We therefore hypothesized that increased biological age, beyond chronological age, may be driving disease-related trends in COVID-19 severity. METHODS: Using the UK Biobank England data, we tested whether a biological age estimate (PhenoAge) measured more than a decade prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was predictive of 2 COVID-19 severity outcomes (inpatient test positivity and COVID-19-related mortality with inpatient test-confirmed COVID-19). Logistic regression models were used with adjustment for age at the pandemic, sex, ethnicity, baseline assessment centers, and preexisting diseases/conditions. RESULTS: Six hundred and thirteen participants tested positive at inpatient settings between March 16 and April 27, 2020, 154 of whom succumbed to COVID-19. PhenoAge was associated with increased risks of inpatient test positivity and COVID-19-related mortality (ORMortality = 1.63 per 5 years, 95% CI: 1.43-1.86, p = 4.7 × 10-13) adjusting for demographics including age at the pandemic. Further adjustment for preexisting diseases/conditions at baseline (ORM = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.30-1.73 per 5 years, p = 3.1 × 10-8) and at the early pandemic (ORM = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.04-1.40 per 5 years, p = .011) decreased the association. CONCLUSIONS: PhenoAge measured in 2006-2010 was associated with COVID-19 severity outcomes more than 10 years later. These associations were partly accounted for by prevalent chronic diseases proximate to COVID-19 infection. Overall, our results suggest that aging biomarkers, like PhenoAge may capture long-term vulnerability to diseases like COVID-19, even before the accumulation of age-related comorbid conditions.


Subject(s)
Aging/physiology , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mortality/trends , Severity of Illness Index , Aged , Biomarkers , Chronic Disease , Humans , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Preexisting Condition Coverage/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Time Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
9.
medRxiv ; 2020 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-664321

ABSTRACT

With no known treatments or vaccine, COVID-19 presents a major threat, particularly to older adults, who account for the majority of severe illness and deaths. The age-related susceptibility is partly explained by increased comorbidities including dementia and type II diabetes. While it is unclear why these diseases predispose risk, we hypothesize that increased biological age, rather than chronological age, may be driving disease-related trends in COVID-19 severity with age. To test this hypothesis, we applied our previously validated biological age measure (PhenoAge) composed of chronological age and nine clinical chemistry biomarkers to data of 347,751 participants from a large community cohort in the United Kingdom (UK Biobank), recruited between 2006 and 2010. Other data included disease diagnoses (to 2017), mortality data (to 2020), and the UK national COVID-19 test results (to May 31, 2020). Accelerated aging 10-14 years prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with test positivity (OR=1.15 per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.21, p=3.2x10-6) and all-cause mortality with test-confirmed COVID-19 (OR=1.25, per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.44, p=0.002) after adjustment for demographics including current chronological age and pre-existing diseases or conditions. The corresponding areas under the curves were 0.669 and 0.803, respectively. Biological aging, as captured by PhenoAge, is a better predictor of COVID-19 severity than chronological age, and may inform risk stratification initiatives, while also elucidating possible underlying mechanisms, particularly those related to inflammaging.

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