XPF-ERCC1 endonuclease is required for repair of helix-distorting DNA lesions and cytotoxic DNA interstrand crosslinks. Mild mutations in XPF cause the cancer-prone syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum. A patient presented with a severe XPF mutation leading to profound crosslink sensitivity and dramatic progeroid symptoms. It is not known how unrepaired DNA damage accelerates ageing or its relevance to natural ageing. Here we show a highly significant correlation between the liver transcriptome of old mice and a mouse model of this progeroid syndrome.
Insulin and insulin-like signaling regulate survival and lifespan in a variety of animal species, from nematodes and flies to higher vertebrates and mammals. Recently, it was shown that brain IGF-I receptor and brain IRS2 control mammalian lifespan, and that this occurs through neuroendocrine mechanisms, control of energy metabolism and modified stress resistance. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that insulin receptor substrate molecules are implicated downstream of insulin and IGF receptors in the extension of lifespan.
A recent report of virtually complete protection from diabetes and cancer in a population of people with hereditary dwarfism revived interest in elucidating the relationships between growth, adult body size, age-related disease and longevity. In many species, smaller individuals outlive those that are larger and a similar relationship was shown in studies of various human populations. Adult body size is strongly dependent on the actions of growth hormone (GH) and the absence of GH or GH receptor in mice leads to a remarkable extension of longevity.
Studies in mammals have led to the suggestion that hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are important factors in aging. GH/Insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling molecules that have been linked to longevity include daf-2 and InR and their homologues in mammals, and inactivation of the corresponding genes increases lifespan in nematodes, fruit flies and mice. The life-prolonging effects of caloric restriction are likely related to decreasing IGF-1 levels. Evidence has emerged that antidiabetic drugs are promising candidates for both lifespan extension and prevention of cancer.
Secretion of growth hormone (GH), and consequently that of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), declines over time until only low levels can be detected in individuals aged ?60 years. This phenomenon, which is known as the 'somatopause', has led to recombinant human GH being widely promoted and abused as an antiageing drug, despite lack of evidence of efficacy. By contrast, several mutations that decrease the tone of the GH/IGF-1 axis are associated with extended longevity in mice.
Aging degrades motivation, cognition, sensory modalities and physical capacities, essentially dimming zestful living. Bradykinesis (declining physical movement) is a highly reliable biomarker of aging and mortality risk. Mice fed a complex dietary supplement (DSP) designed to ameliorate five mechanisms associated with aging showed no loss of total daily locomotion compared with >50% decrement in old untreated mice.
Studies in mutant, gene knock-out and transgenic mice have demonstrated that growth hormone (GH) signalling has a major impact on ageing and longevity. Growth hormone-resistant and GH-deficient animals live much longer than their normal siblings, while transgenic mice overexpressing GH are short lived. Actions of GH in juvenile animals appear to be particularly important for life extension and responsible for various phenotypic characteristics of long-lived hypopituitary mutants.
The underlying mechanism of calorie restriction (CR) extension of mammalian life spans operates by altering the rate of decline in reserve capacity (with time) as well as the exposure to growth stimulus, two mechanisms that seem to be related to the central genetically determined mechanism that controls mammalian life span over a 50-fold range.
Research studies clearly indicate that age-related changes in cellular and tissue function are linked to decreases in the anabolic hormones, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1. Although there has been extensive research on the effects of these hormones on bone and muscle mass, their effect on cerebrovascular and brain ageing has received little attention.
A significant increase in the number of old people in the populations of developed countries was followed by an increase in morbidity and mortality resulting from main age-related diseases -- cardiovascular, cancer, neurodegenerative, diabetes mellitus, decrease in resistance to infections. Obviously, the development of the means of prevention of the premature aging of humans is crucial for the realization of this program.