Inflammation is the hallmark of aging, and I want to know why.
The hallmark of aging is inflammation. Figuring out why - and how to slow it - is the challenge.
In 10 seconds? Scientists don’t know exactly why we age, but a critical factor in determining “biological age” and life expectancy is the degree of inflammation your body has.
What is biological age? Distinct from chronological age, which is marked by how many birthdays you’ve had, biological age is a measure of a person’s overall health that determines their chances of developing age-related diseases and predicts expected lifespan.
How do we determine biological age? Researchers have been able to calculate biological age by measuring exposure to factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol, the level of certain proteins circulating in the blood (inflammation), and how the function of DNA is modified (epigenetics).
How is inflammation related to biological age? Inflammation is consistently observed in elderly adults, so much so that some scientists have changed the term ‘aging’ to ‘inflammaging’. The degree of inflammation corresponds closely with the risk of developing diseases including heart attacks, diabetes, stroke, kidney function, and many other diseases that generally occur in older people.
What, exactly, is inflammation? Several different proteins circulate in our blood at all times. A certain class of proteins, called cytokines, are secreted by immune cells in response to infection or organ damage, and the term ‘inflammation’ is characterized by an increase of circulating cytokines. An increase of these cytokines after infection or organ damage is called 'acute' inflammation. ‘Chronic’ inflammation, which occurs during aging, is characterized by a modest increase of these cytokines in the absence of infection or organ damage. This increase of cytokines is continuous and does not go away, and researchers measure these cytokines to determine the degree of chronic inflammation.
Where does chronic inflammation come from? In short: we don’t know. We do know that certain immune cells constantly express low levels of inflammatory cytokines for no obvious reason in aging adults. In addition, certain viruses cannot be cured, including herpes and cytomegalovirus (CMV). It is thought that these viruses constantly replicate at low-levels and push the immune system to respond, and part of this response is secretion of inflammatory cytokines.
Do anti-inflammatory diets really help? Evidence suggests that foods such as green tea and leafy vegetables reduce and delay chronic inflammation in humans and model systems. Drink up!
Abstract: The importance of chronic inflammation as a determinant of aging phenotypes may have been underestimated in previous studies that used a single measurement of inflammatory markers. We assessed inflammatory markers twice over a 5-year exposure period to examine the association between chronic inflammation and future aging phenotypes in a large population of men and women.We obtained data for 3044 middle-aged adults (28.2% women) who were participating in the Whitehall II study and had no history of stroke, myocardial infarction or cancer at our study's baseline (1997-1999). Interleukin-6 was measured at baseline and 5 years earlier. Cause-specific mortality, chronic disease and functioning were ascertained from hospital data, register linkage and clinical examinations. We used these data to create 4 aging phenotypes at the 10-year follow-up (2007-2009): successful aging (free of major chronic disease and with optimal physical, mental and cognitive functioning), incident fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease, death from noncardiovascular causes and normal aging (all other participants).Of the 3044 participants, 721 (23.7%) met the criteria for successful aging at the 10-year follow-up, 321 (10.6%) had cardiovascular disease events, 147 (4.8%) died from noncardiovascular causes, and the remaining 1855 (60.9%) were included in the normal aging phenotype. After adjustment for potential confounders, having a high interleukin-6 level (> 2.0 ng/L) twice over the 5-year exposure period nearly halved the odds of successful aging at the 10-year follow-up (odds ratio [OR] 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38-0.74) and increased the risk of future cardiovascular events (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.15-2.33) and noncardiovascular death (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.58-3.80).Chronic inflammation, as ascertained by repeat measurements, was associated with a range of unhealthy aging phenotypes and a decreased likelihood of successful aging. Our results suggest that assessing long-term chronic inflammation by repeat measurement of interleukin-6 has the potential to guide clinical practice.
Pub.: 18 Sep '13, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Accumulating evidence indicates that aging is associated with a chronic low-level inflammation, termed sterile-inflammation. Sterile-inflammation is a form of pathogen-free inflammation caused by mechanical trauma, ischemia, stress or environmental conditions such as ultra-violet radiation. These damage-related stimuli induce the secretion of molecular agents collectively termed danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). DAMPs are recognized by virtue of specialized innate immune receptors, such as toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3). These receptors initiate signal transduction pathways, which typically drive inflammation in response to microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and/or DAMPs. This review summarizes the current knowledge on DAMPs-mediated sterile-inflammation, its associated downstream signaling, and discusses the possibility that DAMPs activating TLRs or NLRP3 complex mediate sterile inflammation during aging and in aging-related pathologies.
Pub.: 03 Feb '15, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: As the average lifespan continues to climb because of advances in medical care, there is a greater need to understand the factors that contribute to quality of life in the elderly. The capacity to live independently is highly significant in this regard, but is compromised by cognitive dysfunction. Aging is associated with decreases in cognitive function, including impairments in episodic memory and executive functioning. The prefrontal cortex appears to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of advancing age. Although the mechanism of age-related cognitive decline is not yet known, age-related inflammatory changes are likely to play a role. New insights from preclinical and clinical research may give rise to novel therapeutics which may have efficacy in slowing or preventing cognitive decline with advancing age.
Pub.: 01 May '11, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Although aging is an inexorable component of life, its progress depends on how cumulative disruptions of homeostasis are compensated. Cumulative oxidative and inflammatory processes must be controlled to maintain successful aging. Heat shock proteins, such as those of the Hsp70 family, can be considered a danger signal, and their effects can either support longevity by neutralizing danger or can become detrimental when their production is not balanced. Here, we discuss evidence indicating that these highly conserved proteins can favor longevity when such balance is achieved. We emphasize mechanisms affected by Hsp72 that can interfere with effects of excessive oxidative stress and subtle inflammation and, acting either directly or by affecting neuro-immune-endocrine interactions, can mediate metabolic, neuroprotective, and behavioral adjustments during the aging process.
Pub.: 25 Jul '12, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that regular aerobic exercise reverses arterial inflammation with aging. When compared with young controls (6.2 ± 0.4 mo; n = 7), old (31.3 ± 0.5 mo; n = 11) male B6D2F1 cage-restricted mice demonstrated increased arterial activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB, as indicated by greater aortic phosphorylation of both the inhibitor of NF-κB kinase (IKK) and the p65 subunit of NF-κB (both P < 0.05). Similarly, aortic expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α were greater in the old mice (all P < 0.05). Macrophage and T lymphocyte abundance was unchanged with age in the aortic intima and media but was markedly increased in the adventitia and perivascular fat tissue of old mice (all P < 0.05). This proinflammatory arterial phenotype with aging was associated with vascular dysfunction, as reflected by impaired nitric oxide-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation. Voluntary wheel running (10-14 wk) normalized aortic IKK-NF-κB activation, cytokine expression, adventitial and perivascular macrophage infiltration, and vascular function in old mice (32.4 ± 0.3 mo; n = 8) while having no consistent effects in young mice. Short-term voluntary wheel running started late in life reverses arterial inflammation with aging in mice possibly via outside-in actions. These anti-inflammatory effects may play an important role in the amelioration of age-associated vascular dysfunction by regular aerobic exercise.
Pub.: 31 May '11, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Memory and learning declines are consequences of normal aging. Since those functions are associated with the hippocampus, I analyzed the global gene expression data from post-mortem hippocampal tissue of 25 old (age ≥ 60 yrs) and 15 young (age ≤ 45 yrs) cognitively intact human subjects. By employing a rigorous, multi-method bioinformatic approach, I identified 36 genes that were the most significant in terms of differential expression; and by employing mathematical modeling, I demonstrated that 7 of the 36 genes were able to discriminate between the old and young subjects with high accuracy. Remarkably, 90% of the known genes from those 36 most significant genes are associated with either inflammation or immune system activation. This suggests that chronic inflammation and immune system over-activity may underlie the aging process of the human brain, and that potential anti-inflammatory treatments targeting those genes may slow down this process and alleviate its symptoms.
Pub.: 20 Nov '13, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Aging can be defined as the condition where stressors are not counteracted by protective functions, leading to a dysregulation in development. These changes can be translated into decrements in neuronal functioning accompanied by behavioral declines, such as decreases in motor and cognitive performance, in both humans and animals. When coupled with genetic alterations, the ultimate expression of these changes is seen in diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD). This association will be discussed in the last section of this chapter. In this review we will describe motor and cognitive deficits in behavior due to aging, and show how these deficits are related to increased vulnerability to oxidative stress, inflammation or signaling. Importantly, using muscarinic receptors as examples, we will also try to show that the sensitivity to these insults may be differentially expressed among neurotransmitter receptor subtypes.
Pub.: 28 Sep '05, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: The high energy demand of the brain renders it sensitive to changes in energy fuel supply and mitochondrial function. Deficits in glucose availability and mitochondrial function are well-known hallmarks of brain aging and are particularly accentuated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. As important cellular sources of H2O2, mitochondrial dysfunction is usually associated with altered redox status. Bioenergetic deficits and chronic oxidative stress are both major contributors to cognitive decline associated with brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroinflammatory changes, including microglial activation and production of inflammatory cytokines, are observed in neurodegenerative diseases and normal aging. The bioenergetic hypothesis advocates for sequential events from metabolic deficits to propagation of neuronal dysfunction, to aging, and to neurodegeneration, while the inflammatory hypothesis supports microglia activation as the driving force for neuroinflammation. Nevertheless, growing evidence suggests that these diverse mechanisms have redox dysregulation as a common denominator and connector. An independent view of the mechanisms underlying brain aging and neurodegeneration is being replaced by one that entails multiple mechanisms coordinating and interacting with each other. This review focuses on the alterations in energy metabolism and inflammatory responses and their connection via redox regulation in normal brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Interactions of these systems is reviewed based on basic research and clinical studies.
Pub.: 03 May '16, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: During the aging process, remodeling of several body systems occurs, and these changes can have a startling effect upon the immune system. The reduction in sex steroids and growth hormones and declines in vitamin D concentration that accompany the aging process are associated with increases in the baseline levels of inflammatory proteins. At the same time, inflammation arising from atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases further contributes to the inflammatory milieu and effects a state of chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation, or ''inflammaging'' as it has been termed, seems to be associated with a host of adverse effects contributing to many of the health problems that increase morbidity and decrease both quality of life and the ability to maintain independence in old age. For nurses to be truly informed when caring for older people and to ensure that they have a detailed understanding of the complexities of older people's health needs, they must have a knowledge of the physiological and immunological changes with age. This is the first of a two-part article on inflammatory processes in aging. These age-related changes are presented here, including an examination of the impact of genetic and lifestyle factors. The effect of these changes on the health of the individual and implications for practice are described in Part 2.
Pub.: 26 Nov '09, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Aging is associated with increased incidence and prevalence of anemia, leading to a number of adverse health outcomes. These include death, functional dependence, increased risk of therapeutic complications, falls, and dementia. In approximately 30% of cases, anemia in older individuals is due to either relative or absolute erythropoietin (EPO) deficiency. Absolute EPO deficiency may be primary or secondary to declining renal function. Relative EPO deficiency is due to an age-related pro-inflammatory status that reduces the sensitivity of erythropoietic precursors to EPO. Despite this condition of EPO deficiency, the management of anemia of aging with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) is controversial, unless the anemia is due to renal insufficiency. The main concern related to this treatment arises from eight studies of ESAs in cancer, suggesting that ESAs may reduce patient survival in addition to increasing the risk of deep vein thrombosis. The results of these studies contrast with a host of other trials showing the safety of ESAs. The discrepancy may be explained in part by the fact that, in the trials suggesting a detrimental effect of ESAs, the goal was to obtain hemoglobin (Hb) levels higher than 12 g/dL. Because of this concern, correction of anemia in elderly individuals with relative EPO insufficiency should not be attempted outside clinical trials.
Pub.: 24 Sep '08, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: In adults, mesenchymal stromal cells contain tissue-specific multipotent stem cells, MSC, which can be found throughout the body. With advancing age, tight controls of regulatory networks, which guide MSC biology, gradually deteriorate. Aberrations within the MSC microenvironment such as chronic inflammation eventually lead to adverse manifestations, such as the accumulation of fat deposits in bone and muscles, impaired healing and fibrosis after severe injury, or altered hematopoiesis and autoimmunity. MSC can also specifically interact with a large variety of immune cells, and in doing so, they secrete cytoprotective and immunoregulatory molecules, which together with intercellular contacts mediate immune modulatory processes. This review comprehends the current knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms and cellular interactions that occur in stem cell niches, which are jointly shared between MSC and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, as well as those intracellular interdependences taking place between mesenchymal and a wide variety of hematopoietic progeny in particular T lymphocytes, which eventually perturb tissue homeostasis and immunology at advanced age.
Pub.: 28 Jun '11, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: To determine whether aging is associated with a pro-inflammatory shift in the lung, inflammation and inflammation-related gene expression in the lungs of 12-week-old and 24-month-old Balb/c mice were studied. cDNA microarray and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that eight inflammation-related genes, including CD20, Burkitt lymphoma receptor 1, CXCR-3, provirus integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus-2, CD72, IL-8RB, C-Fgr, and CD8beta, were upregulated in the aged mice. Immunohistochemistry showed that the lungs of the aged mice contained increased numbers of CD4 cells, CD8 cells, B cells and macrophages. These results suggest that a pro-inflammatory shift occurs in the lungs of mice with aging.
Pub.: 14 Jul '07, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Skin care regimens using active ingredients that are recommended by physicians who treat mucocutaneous conditions including aging should become more focused on reversing and preventing chronic inflammation. This adjustment of therapeutic and preventive strategies is necessary because chronic inflammation appears strongly linked to many preventable and treatable skin diseases and conditions such as visible skin aging. Mucocutaneous inflammation as the final common pathway of many systemic and mucocutaneous diseases including extrinsic aging has been established at the molecular and cellular levels. The corollary to this strategy includes inhibition of primary activators of mucocutaneous inflammation such as stratum corneum permeability barrier disruption, blocking any pro-inflammatory environmental insult such as ultraviolet radiation, and quenching tissue responses to these insults. This review will present the scientific rationale substantiating the conclusion that chronic inflammation is the common denominator in many mucocutaneous pathophysiologic processes including extrinsic skin aging.
Pub.: 08 Feb '08, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Older people experience enhanced susceptibility to viral infections and subsequent superimposed bacterial infections. Based on both experimental and clinical studies, this susceptibility is thought to be due to declining immune responses. However, our work indicates that older people may succumb to viral infection due to exaggerated immune responses as aged mice produce higher serum levels of the inflammatory mediator IL-17 than younger mice upon herpes viral infection. These age-elevated IL-17 responses induce a lethal immune pathology during viral infection. Early during the course of infection natural killer T-cells (NKT-cells) are major contributors to the elevated IL-17 response in aged mice. These responses synergize with defective viral clearance with aging noted by impaired IFN-α responses by plasmacytoid DCs. Our results indicate that novel anti-inflammatory drugs may resolve imbalanced inflammation and improve outcomes in older people infected with viruses.
Pub.: 24 Dec '10, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Para-inflammation is a tissue adaptive response to noxious stress or malfunction and has characteristics that are intermediate between basal and inflammatory states (Medzhitov, 2008). The physiological purpose of para-inflammation is to restore tissue functionality and homeostasis. Para-inflammation may become chronic or turn into inflammation if tissue stress or malfunction persists for a sustained period. Chronic para-inflammation contributes to the initiation and progression of many human diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Evidence from our studies and the studies of some others suggests that para-inflammation also exists in the aging retina in physiological conditions and might contribute to age-related retinal pathologies. The purpose of this review is to introduce the notion of "para-inflammation" as a state between frank, overt destructive inflammation and the non-inflammatory removal of dead or dying cells by apoptosis, to the retinal community. In diabetes and atherosclerosis, leukocytes particularly monocytes and vascular endothelial cells are constantly under noxious stress due to glycaemic and/or lipidaemic dysregulation. These blood-borne stresses trigger para-inflammatory responses in leukocytes and endothelial cells by up-regulating the expression of adhesion molecules or releasing cytokines/chemokines, which in turn cause abnormal leukocyte-endothelial interactions and ultimately vascular damage. In the aging retina, on the other hand, oxidized lipoproteins and free radicals are considered to be major causes of tissue stress and serve as local triggers for retinal para-inflammation. Microarray analysis has revealed the up-regulation of a large number of inflammatory genes, including genes involved in complement activation and inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production, in the aging retina. Para-inflammatory responses in the neuroretina of aged mice are characterized by microglial activation and subretinal migration, and breakdown of blood-retinal barrier. At the retinal/choroidal interface para-inflammation is manifested by complement activation in Bruch's membrane and RPE cells, and microglia accumulation in subretinal space. With age, para-inflammatory changes have also been observed in the choroidal tissue, evidenced by 1) increased thickness of choroid; 2) increased number of CD45(+)CRIg(+) macrophages; 3) morphological abnormalities in choroidal melanocytes; and 4) fibrosis in choroidal tissue. An increased knowledge of contribution of retinal para-inflammation to various pathological conditions is essential for the better understanding of the pathogenesis of various age-related retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
Pub.: 30 Jun '09, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Complex interactions among cells of the monocyte-macrophage-osteoclast lineage and the mesenchymal stem cell-osteoblast lineage play a major role in the pathophysiology of bone healing. Whereas the former lineage directs inflammatory events and bone resorption, the latter represents a source of cells for bone regeneration and immune modulation. Both of these lineages are affected by increasing age, which is associated with higher baseline levels of inflammatory mediators, and a significant reduction in osteogenic capabilities. Given the above, fracture healing, osteoporosis, and other related events in the elderly present numerous challenges, which potentially could be aided by new therapeutic approaches to modulate both inflammation and bone regeneration.
Pub.: 24 Mar '16, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Chronic inflammation is associated with a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases of aging. Included are such disorders as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the Parkinson-dementia complex of Guam, all of the tauopathies, and age-related macular degeneration. Also included are such peripheral conditions as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and myocardial infarction. Inflammation is a two-edged sword. In acute situations, or at low levels, it deals with the abnormality and promotes healing. When chronically sustained at high levels, it can seriously damage viable host tissue. We describe this latter phenomenon as autotoxicity to distinguish it from autoimmunity. The latter involves a lymphocyte-directed attack against self proteins. Autotoxicity, on the other hand, is determined by the concentration and degree of activation of tissue-based monocytic phagocytes. Microglial cells are the brain representatives of the monocyte phagocytic system. Biochemically, the intensity of their activation is related to a spectrum of inflammatory mediators generated by a variety of local cells. The known spectrum includes, but is not limited to, prostaglandins, pentraxins, complement components, anaphylotoxins, cytokines, chemokines, proteases, protease inhibitors, adhesion molecules, and free radicals. This spectrum offers a huge variety of targets for new anti-inflammatory agents. It has been suggested, largely on the basis of transgenic mouse models, that stimulating inflammation rather than inhibiting it can be beneficial in such diseases as AD. If this were the case, administration of NSAIDs, or other anti-inflammatory drugs, would be expected to exacerbate conditions such as AD, PD, and atherosclerosis. However, epidemiological evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the reverse is true. This indicates that, at least in these diseases, the inflammation is harmful. So far, advantage has not been taken of opportunities indicated by these epidemiological studies to treat AD and PD with appropriate anti-inflammatory agents. Based on this evidence, classical NSAIDs are the most logical choice. Dosage, though, must be sufficient to combat the inflammation. Analysis of mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators indicates that the intensity of inflammation is considerably higher in AD hippocampus and in PD substantia nigra than in osteoarthritic joints. Thus, full therapeutic doses of NSAIDs, or combinations of anti-inflammatory agents, are needed to achieve the suggested neurological benefits.
Pub.: 01 Feb '05, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Vascular aging, a determinant factor for cardiovascular disease and health status in the elderly, is now viewed as a modifiable risk factor. Impaired endothelial vasodilation is a early hallmark of arterial aging that precedes the clinical manifestations of vascular dysfunction, the first step to cardiovascular disease and influencing vascular outcomes in the elderly. Accordingly, the preservation of endothelial function is thought to be an essential determinant of healthy aging. With special attention on the effects of aging on the endothelial function, this review is focused on the two main mechanisms of aging-related endothelial dysfunction: oxidative stress and inflammation. Aging vasculature generates an excess of the reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, that compromise the vasodilatory activity of nitric oxide (NO) and facilitate the formation of the deleterious radical, peroxynitrite. Main sources of ROS are mitochondrial respiratory chain and NADPH oxidases, although NOS uncoupling could also account for ROS generation. In addition, reduced antioxidant response mediated by erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and downregulation of mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2) contributes to the establishment of chronic oxidative stress in aged vessels. This is accompanied by a chronic low-grade inflammatory phenotype that participates in defective endothelial vasodilation. The redox-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), is upregulated in vascular cells from old subjects and drives a proinflammatory shift that feedbacks oxidative stress. This chronic NF-κB activation is contributed by increased angiotensin-II signaling and downregulated sirtuins and precludes adequate cellular response to acute ROS generation. Interventions targeted to recover endogenous antioxidant capacity and cellular stress response rather than exogenous antioxidants could reverse oxidative stress-inflammation vicious cycle in vascular aging. Lifestyle attitudes such as caloric restriction and exercise training appear as effective ways to overcome defective antioxidant response and inflammation, favoring successful vascular aging and decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Pub.: 16 Jul '13, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Aging often leads to cognitive decline due to neurodegenerative process in the brain. As people live longer, there exists a growing concern linked to long-term, slowly debilitating diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease for which a cure has not yet been found. Recently, the role of neuroinflammation has attracted attention due to its slow onset, chronic nature and its possible role in the development of many different neurodegenerative diseases. In the future, treatment of chronic neuroinflammation may help counteract aspects of neurodegenerative disease. Our recent studies have focused upon the endocannabinoid system for its unique effects on the expression of neuroinflammation. The basis for the manipulation of the endocannabinoid system in the brain in combination with existing treatments for Alzheimer's disease will be discussed in this review.
Pub.: 11 Apr '08, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by an abnormal persistent inflammatory response to noxious environmental stimuli, particularly cigarette smoke. The determinants of the dysregulated immune responses, which play a role both in the onset and continuation of COPD, are largely unknown. We examined several molecular mechanisms regulating the inflammatory pathway, such as cytokine polymorphisms, miRNA expression, and DNA methylation in COPD and aging, with the aim to provide evidence supporting the view that aging of the immune system may predispose to COPD.The incidence of COPD increases with age. The pathogenesis of the disease is linked to a chronic inflammation and involves the recruitment and regulation of innate and adaptive immune cells. A chronic systemic inflammation characterizes aging and has been correlated with many diseases, most of them age-related.COPD and aging are associated with significant dysregulation of the immune system that leads to a chronic inflammatory response. The similar molecular mechanisms and the common genetic signature shared by COPD and aging suggest that immunosenescence may contribute to the development of COPD.
Pub.: 11 Jan '12, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Aging is associated with inflammatory chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and arthritis. Sarcopenia-muscle loss with aging-is multifactorial with contributing factors that may include loss of alpha-motor neuron input, changes in anabolic hormones, decreased intake of dietary protein, and decline in physical activity. Research findings suggest that sarcopenia is a smoldering inflammatory state driven by cytokines and oxidative stress. Elevated levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein are often detected. Sarcopenic obesity manifests the added inflammatory burden of adiposity and associated adipokines. Potential interventions for sarcopenia include nutritional supplements, physical activity/resistance exercise, caloric restriction, anabolic hormones, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants. A key question is whether sarcopenia is truly a distinct syndrome or a milder form of a cachexia continuum.
Pub.: 01 Nov '08, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Chronic inflammation in aging is characterized by increased inflammatory cytokines, bone loss, decreased adaptation, and defective tissue repair in response to injury. Aging leads to inherent changes in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation, resulting in impaired osteoblastogenesis. Also, the pro-inflammatory cytokines increase with aging, leading to enhanced myelopoiesis and osteoclastogenesis. Bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) play pivotal roles in osteoblast differentiation, the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and subsequent bone repair. However, during aging, little is known about the role of macrophages in the differentiation and function of MSC and HSC. Aged mammals have higher circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines than young adults, supporting the hypothesis of increased inflammation with aging. This review will aid in the understanding of the potential role(s) of pro-inflammatory (M1) and anti-inflammatory (M2) macrophages in differentiation and function of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in relation to aging.
Pub.: 17 Dec '14, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: A direct relationship exists between aging and increasing incidences of chronic diseases. In fact, with most age-associated diseases individuals manifest an underlying chronic inflammatory state as evidenced by local infiltration of inflammatory cells, such as macrophages, and higher circulatory levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, complement components and adhesion molecules. Consequently, treatment with anti-inflammatory agents provide symptomatic relief to several aging-associated diseases, even as remote as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, indicating that chronic inflammation may play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of these disease states. The molecular mechanisms underlying this chronic inflammatory condition during cellular senescence is presently unclear. Cellular damage by oxygen free radicals is a primary driving force for aging and increased activation of redox-regulated transcription factors, such as NF-kappaB that regulate the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules, has been documented in aged animals/individuals versus their young counterparts. Human polynucleotide phosphorylase (hPNPase(old-35)), a RNA degradation enzyme shown to be upregulated during differentiation and cellular senescence, may represent a molecular link between aging and its associated inflammation. hPNPase(old-35) promotes reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, activates the NF-kappaB pathway and initiates the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-8. In these contexts, inhibition of hPNPase(old-35) may represent a novel molecular target for intervening in aging-associated chronic diseases.
Pub.: 28 Jun '05, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Sleep quality is important to health, and increasingly viewed as critical in promoting successful, resilient aging. In this review, the interplay between sleep and mental and physical health is considered with a focus on the role of inflammation as a biological pathway that translates the effects of sleep on risk of depression, pain and chronic disease risk in aging. Given that sleep regulates inflammatory biologic mechanisms with effects on mental and physical health outcomes, the potential of interventions that target sleep to reduce inflammation and promote health in aging is also discussed.
Pub.: 07 Oct '14, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of tissue function and an increased susceptibility to injury and disease. Many age-associated pathologies manifest an inflammatory component, and this has led to the speculation that aging is at least in part caused by some form of inflammation. However, whether or not inflammation is truly a cause of aging, or is a consequence of the aging process is unknown. Recent work using Drosophila has uncovered a mechanism where the progressive loss of lamin-B in the fat body upon aging triggers systemic inflammation. This inflammatory response perturbs the local immune response of the neighboring gut tissue and leads to hyperplasia. Here, we will discuss the literature connecting lamins to aging and inflammation.
Pub.: 30 Mar '16, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Immunosenescence is characterized by a series of changes of immune pathways, including a chronic state of low-grade inflammation. Mounting evidence from experimental and clinical studies suggests that persistent inflammation increases the risk of cancer and the progression of the disease. Cancer vaccination, which came into view in the last years as the most intriguing means of activating an immune response capable of effectively hampering the progression of the preclinical stages of a tumour, has been shown to be less effective in older age than in young adults. Available evidence on the use of inhibitors of inflammation has indicated their potential enhancement of cancer vaccines, suggesting the possibility to improve the low effectiveness of cancer vaccines in old age employing pharmacological or natural compounds-based anti-inflammatory intervention. This review addresses the effects of age and inflammation on cancer development and progression, and speculates as to whether the modulation of inflammation may influence the response to cancer immunization.
Pub.: 11 May '10, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: It is well accepted that aging is an important contributing factor to the development of osteoarthritis (OA). The mechanisms responsible appear to be multifactorial and may include an age-related pro-inflammatory state that has been termed "inflamm-aging." Age-related inflammation can be both systemic and local. Systemic inflammation can be promoted by aging changes in adipose tissue that result in increased production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Numerous studies have shown an age-related increase in blood levels of IL-6 that has been associated with decreased physical function and frailty. Importantly, higher levels of IL-6 have been associated with an increased risk of knee OA progression. However, knockout of IL-6 in male mice resulted in worse age-related OA rather than less OA. Joint tissue cells, including chondrocytes and meniscal cells, as well as the neighboring infrapatellar fat in the knee joint, can be a local source of inflammatory mediators that increase with age and contribute to OA. An increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators that include cytokines and chemokines, as well as matrix-degrading enzymes important in joint tissue destruction, can be the result of cell senescence and the development of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Further studies are needed to better understand the basis for inflamm-aging and its role in OA with the hope that this work will lead to new interventions targeting inflammation to reduce not only joint tissue destruction but also pain and disability in older adults with OA.
Pub.: 03 Nov '15, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Evidence suggests that inflammation, an innate immune response facilitating recovery from injury and pathogenic invasion, is positively associated with age-related cognitive decline and may play a role in risk for dementia. Physiological pathways linking the peripheral immune and central nervous systems are outlined, and studies linking inflammation with neurocognitive function are overviewed. We also present recent studies from our laboratory showing that midlife inflammation is related to cognitive function and brain morphology. Finally, potential implications for treatment, future directions, and limitations are discussed.
Pub.: 01 Jan '13, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Chronic inflammation, characterized by increased serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and the presence of inflammatory-related diseases, are seen commonly in aging. Both the dysregulation of immune cells and phenotypic changes in parenchymal cells may contribute to chronic inflammation in aging. Moreover, senescent cells are an important source of inflammatory factors. Oxidative stress, via activation of p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase and induction of cell senescence, is likely to play a critical role in inflammation. Endoplasmic reticulum stress also may be present in aging and be involved in inflammation. Advanced glycation end products also are important contributors to inflammation in aging. Because the kidney is a major site for the excretion, and perhaps the degradation, of advanced glycation end products and small inflammatory molecules, reduced renal function in aging may promote oxidative stress and inflammation. Chronic inflammation in turn may potentiate the initiation and progression of lesions in the aging kidney.
Pub.: 17 Dec '09, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
Abstract: Although epidemiologic studies have revealed that high plasma cholesterol or high homocysteine levels, as well as diabetes, hypertension and smoking are important risk factors for atherosclerotic vascular disease, the deleterious effects of these conditions can be delayed or significantly attenuated by therapeutic interventions. Since the population in the Western world is aging, advancing age itself became one of the most significant risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease, however, the mechanisms by which advanced age per se promotes vascular inflammation are not well understood. In the present review the authors propose a model for age-related alterations in cytokine expression, increased oxidative stress and decreased bioavailability of NO that underlie a pro-inflammatory phenotype of aged vessels promoting the development of atherosclerosis in the elderly.
Pub.: 16 Dec '04, Pinned: 16 Apr '17
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