Metabolic age modelling: The lesson from centenarians

G. Paolisso, M. Barbieri, M. Bonafè, C. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evolutionary theories of ageing, and data emerging from cellular and molecular biology of ageing, suggested that animals and humans capable of reaching an age close to the extreme limit of the life span should be equipped with a very efficient network of anti-ageing mechanisms. Indeed several evidences have demonstrated that starting from young to very old subjects, ageing is associated with a progressive remodelling. Thus, a new paradigm, the remodelling theory of age, was proposed. This theory, focusing on the human immune system, suggested that immunosenescence is the net result of the continuous adaptation of the body to the deteriorative changes occurring over time. According to this hypothesis, body resources are continuously optimized, and immunosenescence must be considered a very dynamic process including both loss and gain. Whether the metabolic pathways and the endocrine functions are also part of the age remodelling is not investigated. The aim of this review is to focus on the age-related changes in metabolic pathways and endocrine functions and to demonstrate that healthy centenarians (HC) represent the best living example of successful age-remodelling in whom the age remodelling has occurred without problems. In order to design the clinical picture of such successful ageing, anthropometric, endocrine and metabolic characteristics of healthy centenarians (HC), compared with aged subject, have been outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-894
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Advancing age
  • Age-remodelling
  • Centenarians
  • Metabolic changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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