Biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammaging in older adults and blood pressure variability

Geroscience. 2023 Apr;45(2):797-809. doi: 10.1007/s11357-022-00697-y. Epub 2022 Dec 1.


Most physiopathological mechanisms underlying blood pressure variability (BPV) are implicated in aging. Vascular aging is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation occurring in late life, known as "inflammaging" and the hallmark "mitochondrial dysfunction" due to age-related stress. We aimed to determine whether plasma levels of the pleiotropic stress-related mitokine growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) and two inflammatory biomarkers, interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR-1), are associated with visit-to-visit BPV in a population of community-dwelling older adults. The study population consisted of 1096 community-dwelling participants [median age 75 (72-78) years; 699 females, 63.7%] aged ≥ 70 years from the MAPT study. Plasma blood sample was collected 12 months after enrolment and BP was assessed up to seven times over a 4-year period. Systolic (SBPV) and diastolic BPV (DBPV) were determined through several indicators taking into account BP change over time, the order of measurements and formulas independent of mean BP levels. Higher values of GDF-15 were significantly associated with increased SBPV (all indicators) after adjustment for relevant covariates [adjusted 1-SD increase in GDF-15: β (SE) = 0.07 (0.04), p < 0.044, for coefficient of variation%]. GDF-15 levels were not associated with DBPV. No significant associations were found between IL-6 and BPV, whereas TNFR1 was only partially related to DBPV. Unlike inflammation biomarkers, higher GDF-15 levels were associated with greater SBPV. Our findings support the age-related process of mitochondrial dysfunction underlying BP instability, suggesting that BPV might be a potential marker of aging.

Keywords: Aging; Biomarkers; Blood pressure variability; Growth/differentiation factor 15; Interleukin 6; Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-6*


  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15
  • Interleukin-6
  • Biomarkers