Inflammation, genetic background and longevity

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Abstract

Ageing is an inexorable intrinsic processthat affects all cells, tissues, organs and individuals.Due to a diminished homeostasis and increasedorganism frailty, ageing causes a reduction of theresponse to environmental stimuli and, in general, isassociated to an increased predisposition to illness anddeath. Actually, it is characterized by a state of reducedability to maintain health and general homeodynamicsof the organism.Alarge part of the ageing phenotype isexplained by an imbalance between inflammatory andanti-inflammatory networks, which results in the lowgrade chronic pro-inflammatory status of ageing,‘‘inflamm-ageing’’. It is strictly linked to immunosenescence,and on the whole they are the majorcontributory factors to the increased frequency ofmorbidity and mortality among elderly. Inflammageingis compatible with longevity; even if centenarianshave an increased level of inflammatory mediatorsin comparison to old subjects and they are very frail,they also have high level of anti-inflammatory cytokinestogether with protective genotypes. Actually,data on case control studies performed in Italiancentenarians suggest that a pro-inflammatory genotypeis unfavourable to reach extreme longevity in goodhealth and likely favours the onset of age-relateddiseases such as cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’sdisease, the leading causes of mortality anddisability in the elderly. However, many associationsbetween gene variants and longevity have been foundonly in Italian population. This should not be unexpected,since ageing and longevity are complex traitsresulting not only and not exclusively from genetics,but rather from the interactions between genetics,environment and chance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)565-573
Numero di pagine9
RivistaBiogerontology
Volume11
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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