Since the beginning of the twentieth century the study of processes related to aging has been one of the most fascinating topics in biology. Several theories have been developed to understand the key factors of aging, from free radical theory to gene regulation, from the theory of cellular senescence to inflammaging. The definition of senescence is now universally accepted as a 'multifactorial process that operates at different levels of functional organization'. Studies in healthy centenarians have shown that genetic regulation pathways are involved in successful aging, including genes via the insulin/IGF-1, AP-C gene and the genes that code for cytokines and pro- and antiinflammatory properties. Some of the mechanisms of aging may be related to cumulative damage generated by reactive oxygen species that results in reduced ability of the proteasome to degrade damaged proteins, and to DNA repair defects, genetic abnormalities and environmental factors. The relationship between the age-related changes that produce an aging phenotype seems to have a common origin in a global process that alters cell and organ function. Indeed, this progressive inability to withstand stresses makes the organism vulnerable to disease increasing the risk of death. In this overview we briefly look at the most commonly accepted theories of aging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, medical
- Medical Laboratory Technology