Calorie restriction (CR) retards aging, acts as a hormetic intervention, and increases serum corticosterone and HSP70 expression in rodents. However, less is known regarding the effects of CR on these factors in humans. Serum cortisol and molecular chaperones and autophagic proteins were measured in the skeletal muscle of subjects on CR diets for 3-15 years and in control volunteers. Serum cortisol was higher in the CR group than in age-matched sedentary and endurance athlete groups (15.6 ± 4.6 ng/dl versus 12.3 ± 3.9 ng/dl and 11.2 ± 2.7 ng/dl, respectively; p ≤ 0.001). HSP70, Grp78, beclin-1, and LC3 mRNA and/or protein levels were higher in the skeletal muscle of the CR group compared to controls. Our data indicate that CR in humans is associated with sustained rises in serum cortisol, reduced inflammation, and increases in key molecular chaperones and autophagic mediators involved in cellular protein quality control and removal of dysfunctional proteins and organelles.
Keywords: HSP70; aldosterone; autophagy; calorie restriction; cortisol.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.