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Israeli Multi Ethnic Centenarian Project (IMECP)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03541460
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : May 30, 2018
Last Update Posted : October 9, 2020
Israel Science Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tzvi Dwolatzky, Rambam Health Care Campus

Brief Summary:
This study will systematically assess epigenome methylation changes in participants of the Israel multi-ethnic centenarian study cohort, which includes citizens of Israel aged 95 years and older, compared to their offspring and younger controls.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:

The number of men and women reaching advanced age is rapidly increasing in developed countries and life expectancy has already doubled since the beginning of the last century. In parallel, the proportion of those who have survived to advanced old age without major health complications has become increasingly common. This phenomenon has led to concerted research efforts to understand the correlates and mechanisms of extended human longevity and healthy aging. For decades the public health perspective has emphasized environmental and life style factors as having beneficial effects on health and disease prevention in the general population. Important biological insights have been reached by examining the genetic basis of longevity and healthy aging, especially among individuals who demonstrate a favorable healthy aging phenotype. Epigenetics, defined as heritable changes in gene function or phenotypes, in the absence of DNA sequence changes, has revolutionized the concept of how genetics affect disease risk. Epigenetics have been shown to be associated with cancer risk and autoimmunity disorders. Moreover, epigenetic changes at specific sites appear to increase with age, hence they may serve as indices for chronological age. This background has led us to our central hypotheses that: i) epigenetic changes associated with healthy aging could serve as markers for a healthy life span, and ii) the epigenetic changes may represent one of the central mechanisms by which aging predisposes to many age-related diseases, and therefore affects healthy aging. We propose to test these hypotheses within the Israel multi-ethnic centenarian study cohort (which includes all citizens of Israel>95 years old; an estimated 1 in 5000 of the population). We will systematically assess genomic methylation changes in three major sub-groups which signifies three major points in human lifespan: Age 60±5 years (leading age of onset of age associated diseases and also considered to represent the beginning of old age, age 80±5 years (average life expectancy in the western world), and age 100±5 years (exceptional longevity). Our centenarians includes 3 subgroups: SURVIVORS: those who survive and become centenarians in spite of early onset of cognitive impairment, functional disability or major age associated diseases, such as diabetes, vascular disease or cancer, at the beginning of old age, i.e., age of 60±5 years (thus long life span but short healthy lifespan). DELAYERS: those who develop age related diseases or cognitive/physical disability much later than the control population i.e., at the age of 80±5 years instead of 60 years (therefore have a longer healthy life span). DODGERS: those who fail to develop age-related illnesses or cognitive/physical disability throughout their life span. We will compare these groups to healthy controls with no family history of longevity in two reference groups, namely 60±5 years and 80±5 years, comparing them to the survivors and delayers groups, respectively. We predict that subjects will exhibit differences in methylation at sites distinct from each other, in contrast to healthy subjects.

Accordingly our proposed goals are:

  1. To characterize the Israel multi-ethnic centenarian study cohort (I-MECS).
  2. To screen, catalog and annotate epigenome methylation variants in five different groups (a. Survivors, b. Delayers, c. Dodgers, d. 60±5YO healthy control, and e. 80±5YO healthy controls).
  3. To validate differential methylated loci by ranking and prioritizing using Sequenom's MassARRAY.
  4. Exploratory goal (depend on time and funding availability) - To establish expression patterns using a qRT-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Roche light-cycler of the candidate epigenetic loci identified in Aims 1, 2 and 3 as well as specific genes (such as deoxyribonucleic acid methyltransferase and tumor suppressor genes) in blood cells of the initially screened population.

To test our hypotheses, we propose to employ a novel high-throughput genome-wide methylation assay, namely HELPtag. Additionally, we will utilize a combination of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) to identify the most distinctive epigenetic loci that show greatest differential methylation. We will then perform multi-locus validation for methylation status using MassARRAY.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 40 participants
Observational Model: Case-Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Detection of Epigenome Variation Associated With Longevity Among the Multi Ethnic Centenarian Population in Israel
Actual Study Start Date : January 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2021

Older Cohort
Demographic, health and functional data will be collected from subjects 95 years and older by means of a structured interview. Blood will be collected for laboratory and genetic testing.
Younger Controls
Demographic, health and functional data will be collected from the children of the older subjects and other aged-matched controls by means of a structured interview. Blood will be collected for laboratory and genetic testing.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Frequency of alleles in genes across the genome [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Variations of frequency of alleles in study groups using dedicated software for genomic analysis.

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Three 10 ml blood samples will be drawn into vacutainer tubes (Yellow top with anticoagulant; speckled top without anticoagulant). Blood samples will be analyzed for the levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell counts, and levels of glucose, insulin, albumin, inflammatory markers, and plasma lipids. CD34+Lin- cells will be isolated from the peripheral blood specimen using immuno-magnetic separation technique, followed by cell sorter. Mononuclear cells are separated by Ficoll-Paque density gradient, and CD34+ cells obtained by positive immuno-magnetic bead selection, using Macs columns (Miltenyi Biotech). The purified cells are then subjected to a cell sorter following immunostaining. The isolated cells will be cryopreserved in 10% DMSO by controlled rate freezing.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   95 Years and older   (Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Subjects aged 95 years and older will form the study cohort. Control group will comprise children of the older subjects and age-matched controls.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Aged 95 years and older.
  • Provide verbal consent for participation in the study.
  • Cognitively able to provide consent and answer a structured questionnaire.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Not able to provide consent for participation in the study.
  • Impaired consciousness.
  • Unable to communicate.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03541460

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Contact: Tzvi Dwolatzky, MD 972-502061183
Contact: Elad Rubin 972-524685038

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Rambam Health Care Campus Recruiting
Haifa, North, Israel, 3109601
Contact: Tzvi Dwolatzky    502061183   
Contact: Elad Rubin    972-524685038   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Rambam Health Care Campus
Israel Science Foundation
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Principal Investigator: Tzvi Dwolatzky, MD Rambam Health Care Campus
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Responsible Party: Tzvi Dwolatzky, Director of Geriatric Medicine, Rambam Health Care Campus Identifier: NCT03541460    
Other Study ID Numbers: 0312-14-RMB
First Posted: May 30, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 9, 2020
Last Verified: October 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: Individual Participant Data (IPD) will not be shared
Keywords provided by Tzvi Dwolatzky, Rambam Health Care Campus:
healthy aging