How do changes in membrane turnover contribute to the status of old membranes?
In old animals, the relative abundance of fatty acid species in the membrane is dramatically different than in young animals. Specifically, there is an increase in the amount of saturated fatty acids and a depletion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. We have evidence that suggests that decreased membrane turnover in old animals may be insufficient to combat the increased damage seen in aging, resulting in a loss of polyunsaturated fat species and an overall altered membrane composition. We will seek to demonstrate why the membranes have reduced polyunsaturated fatty acids and to address whether this depletion is a cause or contributor to aging and aging-related disease.