In this article we summarise present knowledge on the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines on chronic inflammation leading to organismal aging, a phenomenon we proposed to call "inflamm-aging". In particular, we review genetic data regarding polymorphisms of genes encoding for cytokines and proteins involved in natural immunity (such as Toll-like Receptors and Heat Shock Proteins) obtained from large population studies including young, old and very old people in good health status or affected by age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Type II Diabetes. On the whole, despite some controversial results, the available data are in favour of the hypothesis that pro-inflammatory cytokines play an important role in aging and longevity. Further, we present a possible hypothesis to reconcile energetic dysfunction, including mitochondria, and inflamm-aging. New perspectives for future studies, including phylogenetic studies in animal models and in silico studies on mathematical and bioinformatic models inspired by the systems biology approach, are also proposed.
- Genetic polymorphisms
- Systems biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)