The size of the elderly population in the United States is increasing rapidly. As individuals age, their mobility is impacted through the development of degenerative joint disease (DJD), reducing their ability to interact with both the social and physical aspects of the world, so reducing quality of life. This supplement adds new measures of skeletal health to the parent proposal, which tracks naturalistic molecular and immunological changes in a nonhuman primate model across the lifespan. The specific objective of the supplement is to probe the relationship between aging signatures in the genome across tissues, immune function and inflammation, and the onset of age-related bone diseases, in order to assess the potential for biomarkers of DJD that can be measured before the onset of physical symptoms. As part of this project, a permanent digital archive will be created to preserve skeletons of rhesus macaques who are being studied for the parent proposal, and to promote external research access to that collection. In addition to providing a comprehensive and highly-novel dataset on the etiology of age-related skeletal diseases in a non-human primate model, it will also be key to the career development of a post-doctoral researcher from an underrepresented background, who will expand on their current skillset by learning immunoassay and molecular techniques, and by exploring new avenues of inquiry in skeletal health and aging biology.
Age is the strongest predictor of the risk for a multitude of diseases, yet there is still substantial variation in the age of onset of many diseases of aging. This project investigates how social adversity modifies the pace of aging and ultimately affects the age of onset of numerous diseases. Our results will reveal how and to what extent social adversity alters the pace of aging, which will inform the targeted development of behavioral and physiological interventions that could reduce the burden of aging-related disease in our aging population.