When we grow old we undergo changes in our metabolism in such way that our energy production pathways, such as mitochondrial respiration, damages our internal organs. Thus, it is hypothesizes that changes in fat tissues, an energy depot, damages blood vessels, leading to diseases like infarctions, stroke and dementia. But bad blood vessel appear to damage fat tissue in return as well, creating a vicious circle.
To sustain health, this circle should be interrupted. The impact would be enormous: per year 18 million people die of cardiovascular diseases that cost the EU a staggering €210 billion. If we would better understand the relationship between aging of fat and vascular tissue we might improve sustainment of health.
In this project we will investigate if aging of fat tissue will lead to aging of vascular tissue and vice versa. Erasmus MC and UMC Groningen have developed techniques to let vascular or fat tissue age very fast by turning off DNA repair. These can used as tools to increase our understanding of how the tissues age together. We expect that mitochondria, our cellular energy factories, will fail during aging, and produce harmful metabolites. Sulfateq BV. invented a medicine that improves mitochondrial function, reduce these metabolites, and stop the aging process. The three parties we collaborate so that at the end of the project we will know how vascular and fat tissue aging relate to each other, and if the new medicine actually works.
Our insights will help us to find markers and new medicines to treat age-related disease. Thus, we have constructed a fundament on which to build solutions to the health problems during aging.