Caloric Restriction Reprograms the Single-Cell Transcriptional Landscape of Rattus Norvegicus Aging

Cell. 2020 Mar 5;180(5):984-1001.e22. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.008. Epub 2020 Feb 27.


Aging causes a functional decline in tissues throughout the body that may be delayed by caloric restriction (CR). However, the cellular profiles and signatures of aging, as well as those ameliorated by CR, remain unclear. Here, we built comprehensive single-cell and single-nucleus transcriptomic atlases across various rat tissues undergoing aging and CR. CR attenuated aging-related changes in cell type composition, gene expression, and core transcriptional regulatory networks. Immune cells were increased during aging, and CR favorably reversed the aging-disturbed immune ecosystem. Computational prediction revealed that the abnormal cell-cell communication patterns observed during aging, including the excessive proinflammatory ligand-receptor interplay, were reversed by CR. Our work provides multi-tissue single-cell transcriptional landscapes associated with aging and CR in a mammal, enhances our understanding of the robustness of CR as a geroprotective intervention, and uncovers how metabolic intervention can act upon the immune system to modify the process of aging.

Keywords: aging; caloric restriction; immune cell; inflammation; single-cell RNA atlas; single-cell RNA sequencing; single-nucleus RNA sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Transcriptome / genetics*