Temporal and tissue-specific alterations in gene expression have profound effects on aging of multicellular organisms. However, much remains unknown about the patterns of molecular changes in different tissues and how different tissues interact with each other during aging. Previous genomic studies on invertebrate aging mostly utilized the whole body or body parts and limited age-points, and failed to address tissue-specific aging. Here we measured genome-wide expression profiles of aging in Drosophila melanogaster for seven tissues representing nervous, muscular, digestive, renal, reproductive, and storage systems at six adult ages. In each tissue, we identified hundreds of age-related genes exhibiting significant changes of transcript levels with age. The age-related genes showed clear tissue-specific patterns: <10% of them in each tissue were in common with any other tissue; <20% of the biological processes enriched with the age-related genes were in common between any two tissues. A significant portion of the age-related genes were those involved in physiological functions regulated by the corresponding tissue. Nevertheless, we identified some overlaps of the age-related functional groups among tissues, suggesting certain common molecular mechanisms that regulate aging in different tissues. This study is one of the first that defined global, temporal, and spatial changes associated with aging from multiple tissues at multiple ages, showing that different tissues age in different patterns in an organism. The spatial and temporal transcriptome data presented in this study provide a basis and a valuable resource for further genetic and genomic investigation of tissue-specific regulation of aging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas