The peculiar aging of human liver: A geroscience perspective within transplant context

Cristina Morsiani, Maria Giulia Bacalini, Aurelia Santoro, Paolo Garagnani, Salvatore Collura, Antonia D'Errico, Magda de Eguileor, Gian Luca Grazi, Matteo Cescon, Claudio Franceschi, Miriam Capri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


An appraisal of recent data highlighting aspects inspired by the new Geroscience perspective are here discussed. The main findings are summarized as follows: i) liver has to be considered an immunological organ, and new studies suggest a role for the recently described cells named telocytes; ii) the liver-gut axis represents a crucial connection with environment and life style habits and may influence liver diseases onset; iii) the physiological aging of liver shows relatively modest alterations. Nevertheless, several molecular changes appear to be relevant: a) an increase of microRNA-31-5p; -141-3p; -200c-3p expressions after 60 years of age; b) a remodeling of genome-wide DNA methylation profile evident until 60 years of age and then plateauing; c) changes in transcriptome including the metabolic zones of hepatocyte lobules; d) liver undergoes an accelerated aging in presence of chronic inflammation/liver diseases in a sort of continuum, largely as a consequence of unhealthy life styles and exposure to environmental noxious agents. We argue that chronic liver inflammation has all the major characteristics of “inflammaging” and likely sustains the onset and progression of liver diseases. Finally, we propose to use a combination of parameters, mostly obtained by omics such as transcriptomics and epigenomics, to evaluate in deep both the biological age of liver (in comparison with the chronological age) and the effects of donor-recipient age-mismatches in the context of liver transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Hepatitis
  • Inflammaging
  • Liver aging
  • Marginal donors
  • Telocytes
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The peculiar aging of human liver: A geroscience perspective within transplant context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this