Tissue-specific changes in pregnancy associated plasma protein-A expression with age in mice

Sara L. Harstad, Cheryl A. Conover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) is a novel zinc metalloproteinase that functions in many systems outside of pregnancy. Data in both humans and mice suggest a role for PAPP-A in aging and age-related diseases. However, our knowledge of tissue-specific PAPP-A expression and possible changes in this expression with age is limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine PAPP-A mRNA expression in multiple tissues with age in both male and female mice using real-time PCR. These included the heart, liver, kidney, bone, fat, skeletal muscle, gonads, brain, thymus and spleen. In young mice, PAPP-A mRNA was expressed at relatively high levels in all tissues examined except for liver. The only difference in expression between males and females was seen in the kidney, subcutaneous fat and gonads. The highest PAPP-A mRNA expression levels were found in visceral fat and these were 10-fold higher than in subcutaneous fat. PAPP-A expression significantly increased with age in kidney, brain and gonads. PAPP-A expression significantly deceased with age in bone and skeletal muscle. In the thymus, PAPP-A mRNA showed a biphasic response with age. There were no age-related changes in PAPP-A expression seen in any of the other tissues examined. Expression of IGFBP-5 mRNA, a marker of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) bioactivity known to be regulated by PAPP-A, paralleled the changes in PAPP-A expression with age in kidney, bone, skeletal muscle and thymus. Thus, tissue-specific PAPP-A expression in mice is differentially affected during aging, and may regulate local IGF-I bioactivity in certain tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Aging
  • IGFBP-5
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy associated plasma protein-A
  • Tissue expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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