A series of our "inflammageing" study examining serum samples from a maximum of 217 healthy Japanese individuals aged between 1 and 100 years and mutation-proven 40 patients with Werner syndrome (WS) indicated normal aging-associated elevations of highly sensitive CRP (hsCRP) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). To further study the contribution of environmental factors such as persistent herpes viral infection to inflammageing, IgG antibodies against varicella/zoster virus (VZV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) were examined in the same serum samples as has been done for hsCRP and MMP-9 analyses. The mean levels of serum IgG viral antibodies were comparable between normal (mean ± SE: 31.0 ± 4.3 unit) and WS (38.6 ± 7.6) for CMV, and between normal (42.0 ± 12.2) and WS (29.8 ± 3.8) for VZV, respectively. Significant associations of aging with IgG anti-CMV antibody were in normal aging (p = 0.023) and WS (p = 0.037), but not with IgG VZV in both conditions. Aging-associated change of IgG anti-CMV antibody titer in WS increased significantly (1.32 times higher) compared with normal aging (p = 0.037). IgG anti-CMV level was significantly elevated in the male gender than female in both conditions (p = 0.006). Elevated hsCRP level was significantly associated with IgG anti-CMV (p = 0.016) and IgG anti-VZV (p = 0.008) antibodies in normal aging, but not in WS. Serum MMP-9 was significantly associated with IgG anti-CMV level (p = 0.0002) in normal aging, but not in WS. Persistent herpes viral infection may constitute a part of "inflammageing" in normal aging and WS.
Keywords: Aging; CRP; Cytomegalovirus; Herpes virus; Inflammageing; MMP-9; Werner syndrome.