Impaired genome maintenance suppresses the growth hormone--insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in mice with Cockayne syndrome.
Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a photosensitive, DNA repair disorder associated with progeria that is caused by a defect in the transcription-coupled repair subpathway of nucleotide excision repair (NER). Here, complete inactivation of NER in Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) mutants causes a phenotype that reliably mimics the human progeroid CS syndrome. Newborn Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) mice display attenuated growth, progressive neurological dysfunction, retinal degeneration, cachexia, kyphosis, and die before weaning. Mouse liver transcriptome analysis and several physiological endpoints revealed systemic suppression of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 (GH/IGF1) somatotroph axis and oxidative metabolism, increased antioxidant responses, and hypoglycemia together with hepatic glycogen and fat accumulation. Broad genome-wide parallels between Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) and naturally aged mouse liver transcriptomes suggested that these changes are intrinsic to natural ageing and the DNA repair-deficient mice. Importantly, wild-type mice exposed to a low dose of chronic genotoxic stress recapitulated this response, thereby pointing to a novel link between genome instability and the age-related decline of the somatotroph axis.