Author(s): Hamilton RT, Walsh ME, Van Remmen H
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Abstract Aging is a complex process that affects every major system at the molecular, cellular and organ levels. Although the exact cause of aging is unknown, there is significant evidence that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. The basis of the oxidative stress hypothesis is that aging occurs as a result of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants, which leads to the accrual of damaged proteins, lipids and DNA macromolecules with age. Age-dependent increases in protein oxidation and aggregates, lipofuscin, and DNA mutations contribute to age-related pathologies. Many transgenic/knockout mouse models over expressing or deficient in key antioxidant enzymes have been generated to examine the effect of oxidative stress on aging and age-related diseases. Based on currently reported lifespan studies using mice with altered antioxidant defense, there is little evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in determining lifespan. However, mice deficient in antioxidant enzymes are often more susceptible to age-related disease while mice overexpressing antioxidant enzymes often have an increase in the amount of time spent without disease, i.e., healthspan. Thus, by understanding the mechanisms that affect healthy aging, we may discover potential therapeutic targets to extend human healthspan.
This article was published in J Clin Exp Pathol
and referenced in Bioenergetics: Open Access