Ageing can be defined as "a progressive, generalized impairment of function, resulting in an increased vulnerability to environmental challenge and a growing risk of disease and death". Ageing is likely a multifactorial process caused by accumulated damage to a variety of cellular components. During the last 20 years, gerontological studies have revealed different molecular pathways involved in the ageing process and pointed out mitochondria as one of the key regulators of longevity.
Vitamin E refers to a family of several compounds that possess a similar chemical structure comprising a chromanol ring with a 16-carbon side chain. The degree of saturation of the side chain, and positions and nature of methyl groups designate the compounds as tocopherols or tocotrienols. Vitamin E compounds have antioxidant properties due to a hydroxyl group on the chromanol ring. Recently, it has been suggested that vitamin E may also regulate signal transduction and gene expression.
Vasculature is essential for the sustained growth of solid tumors and metastases. Tumor cells surviving vascular-disruptive therapeutic intervention (especially those present at the tumor rim) can contribute to tumor regrowth. The aim was to strengthen, by carrier-mediated delivery of a chemotherapeutic, the curative effects of a bifunctional anti-vascular oligopeptide capable of inducing vascular shutdown and tumor shrinkage. For the in vitro experiments and animal therapy, ACDCRGDCFC-GG-(D)(KLAKLAK)(2) peptide (900 microM in D-PBSA, i.e.
Dietary restriction (DR) has been used for decades to retard aging in rodents, but its mechanism of action remains an enigma. A principal roadblock has been that DR affects many different processes, making it difficult to distinguish cause and effect. To address this problem, we applied a quantitative genetics approach utilizing the ILSXISS series of mouse recombinant inbred strains. Across 42 strains, mean female lifespan ranged from 380 to 1070days on DR (fed 60% of ad libitum [AL]) and from 490 to 1020days on an AL diet.
Aging is a complex process accompanied by a decreased capacity of cells to cope with random molecular damages. Damaged proteins can form aggregates and have cytotoxic properties, a feature of many age-associated diseases. Small Hsps are chaperones involved in the refolding and/or disposal of protein aggregates. In Drosophila melanogaster, the mitochondrial DmHsp22 is preferentially upregulated during aging. Its over-expression results in an extension of lifespan (>30%) and an increased resistance to stress.
Excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to progression of atherosclerosis, at least in part by causing endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory activation. The class III histone deacetylase SIRT1 has been implicated in extension of lifespan. In the vasculature,SIRT1 gain-of-function using SIRT1 overexpression or activation has been shown to improve endothelial function in mice and rats via stimulation of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS). However, the effects of SIRT1 loss-of-function on the endothelium in atherosclerosis remain to be characterized.
Homeostasis is a key feature of the cellular lifespan. Its maintenance influences the rate of ageing and it is determined by several factors, including efficient proteolysis. The proteasome is the major cellular proteolytic machinery responsible for the degradation of both normal and damaged proteins. Alterations of proteasome function have been recorded in various biological phenomena including ageing and replicative senescence.
Hormesis, the beneficial effect of a mild stress, has been proposed as a means to prolong the period of healthy ageing as it can increase the average lifespan of a cohort. However, if we want to use hormesis therapeutically it is important that the treatment is beneficial on the individual level and not just on average at the population level. Long lived lines have been shown not to benefit from a, in other lines, hormesis inducing heat treatment in Drosophila melanogaster, D. buzzatii and mice.
Growth and somatic maintenance are thought to be antagonistic piciotropic traits, but the molecular basis for this tradeoff is poorly understood. Here it is proposed that changes in protein synthesis mediate the tradeoffs that take place upon genetic and environmental manipulation in various model systems including yeast, worms, flies and mice. This hypothesis is supported by evidence that inhibition of the TOR (target of rapamycin) pathway and various translation factors that inhibit protein synthesis lead to slowing of growth and development but extend lifespan.
The transcription factor NF-E2-related factor (NRF2) is a key regulator of several enzymatic pathways, including cytoprotective enzymes in highly metabolic organs. In this review, we summarize the ongoing research related to NRF2 activity in cancer development, focusing on in vivo studies using NRF2 knockout (KO) mice, which have helped in defining the crucial role of NRF2 in chemoprevention. The lower cancer protection observed in NRF2 KO mice under calorie restriction (CR) suggests that most of the beneficial effects of CR on the carcinogenesis process are likely mediated by NRF2.