Heart failure (HF) occurs frequently among older individuals, and dysfunction of cardiac mitochondria is often observed. We here show the cardiac-specific downregulation of a certain mitochondrial component during the chronological aging of mice, which is detrimental to the heart. MitoNEET is a mitochondrial outer membrane protein, encoded by CDGSH iron sulfur domain 1 (CISD1). Expression of mitoNEET was specifically downregulated in the heart and kidney of chronologically aged mice. Mice with a constitutive cardiac-specific deletion of CISD1 on the C57BL/6J background showed cardiac dysfunction only after 12 months of age and developed HF after 16 months; whereas irregular morphology and higher levels of reactive oxygen species in their cardiac mitochondria were observed at earlier time points. Our results suggest a possible mechanism by which cardiac mitochondria may gradually lose their integrity during natural aging, and shed light on an uncharted molecular basis closely related to age-associated HF.
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