Lack of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor accelerates aging in mice

FASEB J. 2019 Nov;33(11):12644-12654. doi: 10.1096/fj.201901333R. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor, largely known for its role in xenobiotic metabolism and detoxification as well as its crucial role as a regulator of inflammation. Here, we have compared a cohort wild-type and AhR-null mice along aging to study the relationship between this receptor and age-associated inflammation, termed as "inflammaging," both at a systemic and the CNS level. Our results show that AhR deficiency is associated with a premature aged phenotype, characterized by early inflammaging, as shown by an increase in plasma cytokines levels. The absence of AhR also promotes the appearance of brain aging anatomic features, such as the loss of the white matter integrity. In addition, AhR-/- mice present an earlier spatial memory impairment and an enhanced astrogliosis in the hippocampus when compared with their age-matched AhR+/+ controls. Importantly, we have found that AhR protein levels decrease with age in this brain structure, strongly suggesting a link between AhR and aging.-Bravo-Ferrer, I., Cuartero, M. I., Medina, V., Ahedo-Quero, D., Peña-Martínez, C., Pérez-Ruíz, A., Fernández-Valle, M. E., Hernández-Sánchez, C., Fernández-Salguero, P. M., Lizasoain, I., Moro, M. A. Lack of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor accelerates aging in mice.

Keywords: AhR; inflammaging; neuroinflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / genetics
  • Aging* / metabolism
  • Aging* / pathology
  • Aging, Premature* / genetics
  • Aging, Premature* / metabolism
  • Aging, Premature* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hippocampus* / metabolism
  • Hippocampus* / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / metabolism
  • Spatial Memory


  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon