Background: Evolutionary theory and empirical evidence suggest that aging is a process of gradual accumulation of damage in cells and tissues of the body. The progressive loss of ability to interact effectively with environmental stimuli is accompanied by progressive modification and adaptations that are influenced bylifestyle and genetic background of the individual. These affect the ability to age successfully, defined both as longevity and/or escaping the major age-related diseases. Some of the most important characteristics of adaptive immunity in aging are compatible with this assumption. Actually, the antigenic load results in the progressive generation of a chronic low grade inflammatory response involved inbody and brain aging. Methods: Data on genetic background and immune systemhave been obtained in the last 10 years studying Sicilian centenarians and subjects affected by aging related diseases. Results: Studies have been focused on the genetic background predisposing to aging related diseases. Data gathered on gene variants in cytokine, pathogen-related pattern receptors or acute phase responsegenes allow the research group to define a complex trait in which the antagonistic pleiotropy of regulating immune-inflammatory mechanisms might play a central role in predisposing to a large array of age-related diseases and in determining lifespan expectancy. Conclusions: These findings suggest that different alleles at differentimmune-related genes coding for pro- or anti-inflammatory molecules may affectindividual life-span expectancy and might be useful markers for the evaluation of aging-associated disease risk.
|Numero di pagine||1|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2012|