Biological clocks and physical functioning in monozygotic female twins
Sillanpää, E., Laakkonen, E., Vaara, E., Rantanen, T., Kovanen, V., Sipilä, S., . . . , & Ollikainen, M. (2018). Biological clocks and physical functioning in monozygotic female twins. BMC Geriatrics, 18, 83. doi:10.1186/s12877-018-0775-6
Published inBMC Geriatrics
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveys
© the Authors, 2018. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
Background: Biomarkers of biological aging – DNA methylation age (DNAm age) and leukocyte telomere length (LTL)– correlate strongly with chronological age across the life course. It is, however, unclear how these measures of cellular wear and tear are associated with muscle strength and functional capacity, which are known to decline with older age and are associated with mortality. We investigated if DNAm age and LTL were associated with body composition and physical functioning by examining 48 monozygotic twin sisters. Methods: White blood cell DNAm age (predicted years) was calculated from Illumina 450 k BeadChip methylation data using an online calculator. DNAm age acceleration was defined from the residuals derived from a linear regression model of DNAm age on chronological age. LTL was measured by qPCR. Total body percentage of fat and lean mass were estimated using bioimpedance. Physical functioning was measured by grip strength, knee extension strength and by 10 m maximal walking speed test. Results: In all participants, DNAm age (58.4 ± 6.6) was lower than chronological age (61.3 ± 5.9 years). Pairwise correlations of monozygotic co-twins were high for DNAm age (0.88, 95% CI 0.79, 0.97), age acceleration (0.68, 95% CI 0.30, 0.85) and LTL (0.77, 95% CI 0.60, 0.94). Increased age acceleration i.e. faster epigenetic aging compared to chronological age was associated with lower grip strength (β = − 5.3 SE 1.9 p = 0.011), but not with other measures of physical functioning or body composition. LTL was not associated with body composition or physical functioning. Conclusions: To conclude, accelerated DNAm age is associated with lower grip strength, a biomarker known to be associated with physiological aging, and which predicts decline in physical functioning and mortality. Further studies may clarify whether epigenetic aging explains the decline in muscle strength with aging or whether DNAm age just illustrates the progress of aging. ...
PublisherBioMed Central Ltd.
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