Age-related Disease

Age-related Disease Research Group

Understanding the genetic, dietary and lifestyle influences of healthy aging.

Undergraduate student working on DNA analysis 

Key aims and expertise

At SVMS we have a critical mass of researchers investigating the potential for stem cell based regenerative medicine (Allegrucci, Mongan, Loughna), manipulation of the microenvironment to stimulate chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and biomarkers of arthritis (Mobasheri), angiogenesis (Rutland) and geriatric disease in canines and their influence on age-related rise in blood pressure (Davies, White).

Dr. Alison Mostyn has a general interest in adipose tissue and have examined lipid regulators and adipokines in adipose tissue from a wide range of species and integrating the results with physiological and ontological data (in collaboration with Dr Nigel Mongan (SVMS), Dr Lisa Yon (SVMS), Dr Alex Lyon (Imperial College), Rob Foale (Dick White referrals). She is continuing to develop the pig as an alternative animal model for investigating the influence of nutrition and size at birth on subsequent disease, in particular investigating the expression of the receptors and enzymes that regulate lipid metabolism (in collaboration with Professor Michael Symonds (School of Clinical Sciences), Professor Michael Lomax (Biosciences) and Dr Paul Bikker (Wageningen UR Livestock Research, The Netherlands). I also use the pig to investigate the influence of genotype, delivery method and nutrition upon neonatal physiology (in collaboration with Dr Matthew Hyde (Imperial College)). 

Through a long term study Dr. Catrin Rutland’s group are investigating how diet during pregnancy can influence life-long health (Gardner, Rutland). The group uses genetic, proteomic, epigenetic, anatomical and functional effects of a low protein diet during development in a number of species. The angiogenesis work also includes blood vessel corrosion casting projects and research into ocular diseases, especially those presenting with abnormal vasculature. The overall aim of the work is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind both normal and diseased states. Collaborators include those from SVMS but also from University of Ulster, NHS clinicians, Feinberg Medical School Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York.

Current projects

  1. Mitochondrial dysfunction in NnaD mutant flies and Purkinje cell degeneration mice reveals a role for Nna proteins in neuronal bioenergetics 
  2. Cardiomyopathy
  3. Blindness, macular degneration
  4. Nutritional determinants of lieflong health and healthy aging
  5. Proteomic studies on the secretome and identification of novel biomarkers of osteoarthritis
  6. Characterisation of nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals for osteoarthritis
  7. Inflammatory and apoptotic signalling pathways in chondrocytes, tenocytes and bone-derived cells
  8. Glucose transport and metabolism in articular cartilage
  9. Expression and functional regulation of the channelome in chondrocytes
  10. Tissue distribution of aquaporin water channels
  11. Adipose tissue metabolism
  12. Nutritional determinants of birth and lifelong wellbeing

Stem Cell Biology at SVMS:

  1. Factors controlling pluripotency
  2. Transcriptional networks in pluripotent embryonic stem cells (mouse) and human mesenchymal stem cells
  3. Muscle mesenchymal stem cells

Significant results

  • FAINBERG, H. P., BODLEY, K., BACARDIT, J., LI, D., WESSELY, F., MONGAN, N. P., SYMONDS, M. E., CLARKE, L., AND MOSTYN, A. (2012) Reduced Neonatal Mortality in Meishan Piglets: A Role for Hepatic Fatty Acids? PLoS ONE 7, e49101
  • SHAKIBAEI M, SHAYAN P, BUSCH F, ALDINGER C, BUHRMANN C, LUEDERS C and MOBASHERI A, 2012. Resveratrol mediated modulation of sirt-1/runx2 promotes osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells: potential role of runx2 deacetylation. Plos one. 7(4), e35712
  • RUTLAND, C.S., ATKINSON, S.D., MUKHOPADHYAY, M., JIANG, K., SOFF, G.A., MAYHEW, T.M. and MITCHELL, C.A., 2011. Thrombophilic-type placental pathologies and skeletal growth delay following maternal administration of angiostatin4.5 in mice Biology of Reproduction. 84(3), 505-513
  • CHAKRABARTI L, ZAHRA R, JACKSON SM, KAZEMI-ESFARJANI P, SOPHER BL, MASON AG, TONEFF T, RYU S, SHAFFER S, KANSY JW, ENG J, MERRIHEW G, MACCOSS MJ, MURPHY A, GOODLETT DR, HOOK V, BENNETT CL, PALLANCK LJ, LA SPADA AR. Mitochondrial dysfunction in NnaD mutant flies and Purkinje cell degeneration mice reveals a role for Nna proteins in neuronal bioenergetics. Neuron. 2010 Jun 24;66(6):835-47. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.05.024. PubMed PMID: 20620870; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3101252.
  • BUHRMANN, C., MOBASHERI, A., BUSCH, F., ALDINGER, C., STAHLMANN, R., MONTASERI, A. and SHAKIBAEI, M., 2011. Curcumin modulates nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-mediated inflammation in human tenocytes in vitro.: Role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(32), 28556-28566
  • REDSHAW Z, MCORIST S, LOUGHNA P. Muscle origin of porcine satellite cells affects in vitro differentiation potential. Cell Biochem Funct. 2010 Jul;28(5):403-11. doi: 10.1002/cbf.1670. PubMed PMID: 20589736.
  • WILLIAMS, P. J., MARTEN, N., WILSON, V., LITTEN-BROWN, J. C., CORSON, A. M., CLARKE, L., SYMONDS, M. E., AND MOSTYN., A. (2009) Influence of birth weight on gene regulators of lipid metabolism and utilisation in subcutaneous adipose tissue and skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs Reproduction 138, 609-617
  • RUTLAND, C.S., JIANG, K., SOFF, G.A. and MITCHELL, C.A., 2009. Maternal administration of anti-angiogenic agents, TNP-470 and Angiostatin4.5, induces fetal microphthalmia Molecular Vision. 15, 1260-1269






Age-related Disease Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6116
email: Email our Research Theme Leader