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Nutritional zinc, oxidative stress and immunosenescence: biochemical, genetic and lifestyle implications for healthy ageing

Objective

A hallmark of cellular ageing is the increase in the oxidatively modified proteins. Oxidative damage in lymphocytes is critical given the importance of the immune system for maintaining good health and for successful ageing. Some antioxidant micronutrients in the diet, such as zinc, trol the development and function of the immune cells, the activity of stress-related proteins [metallothioneins, chaperones, ApoJ, PARP-1, NO, MsrA] and antioxidant enzyme (SOD) and help to maintain genomic integrity and stability, thus suggesting diet-gene interactions. During ageing, the intake of zinc decreases due to inadequate diet or/and intestinal malabsorption, thus causing frailty, general disability and increased incidence of age-related degenerative diseases (cancer, infections and atherosclerosis). No focused research has been performed thus far to clarify the intrinsic biochemical mechanisms and the impact of nutrient zinc on the genome during immunosenescence. The applicants will therefore study, the role of zinc in the gene expression and functions of metallothioneins, chaperones, NO, MsrA, ApoJ, telomerase, PARP-1 and DNA-repair as a function of immunosenescence in lymphocytes from old subjects including nonagenarians, as well as in ill old patients affected by age-related diseases and in T-cell clones as in vitro model. Particular attention will be paid to the processing of oxidised proteins by proteasome, which decreases in ageing. The activity of all proteins herein studied is impaired in ageing and this is directly and indirectly trolled by zinc ion bioavailability. The zinc deficiency in the elderly will be evaluated through the screening of polymorphic allele frequency of proteins involved in zinc ion metabolism (such as Hsp70-2 and TNF-alpha) and their relationships to gender. The results will form a rationale for the promotion of healthy ageing through a zinc supplementation.

Call for proposal

FP6-2002-FOOD-1
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Coordinator

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI RIPOSO E CURA PER ANZIANI
Address
Via Santa Margherita 5
Ancona
Italy

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Participants (15)

HAROKOPIO UNIVERSITY
Greece
Address
El. Benizelou Street 70
Athens

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UNIVERSITAET KONSTANZ
Germany
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 10
Konstanz

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UNIVERSYTET MEDYCZNY W LODZI
Poland
Address
Narutowicza Str. 96
Lodz

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NATIONAL HELLENIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Greece
Address
Vassileos Constantinou Avenue 48
Athens

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UNIVERSITE DE PARIS VII DENIS DIDEROT
France
Address
Place Jussieu 2
Paris

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SEMMELWEIS ORVOSTUDOMANYI EGYETEM
Hungary
Address
Uelloi Ut 26
Budapest

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UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PERUGIA
Italy
Address
Piazza Dell'universita 1
Perugia

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CENTRO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIONES ONCOLOGICAS
Spain
Address
C/ Melchor Fernandes Almagro, 3
Madrid

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UNILEVER UK CENTRAL RESOURCES LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Unilever House Blackfriars
London

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE
Italy
Address
Piazza San Marco 4
Firenze

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UNIVERSITE DE FRANCHE-COMTE
France
Address
Rue Claude Goudimel 1
Besancon

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ISTITUTO ORTOPEDICO RIZZOLI
Italy
Address
Via Di Barbiano 1-10
Bologna

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UNIVERSITAETSKLINIKUM AACHEN
Germany
Address
Pauwelsstrasse 30
Aachen

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EBERHARD KARLS-UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN
Germany
Address
Wilhelmstrasse 5
Tuebingen

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UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA TRE
Italy
Address
Via Ostiense 159
Roma

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