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Rejuvenation Res. 2006 Fall;9(3):402-7.

Werner Syndrome as an example of inflamm-aging: possible therapeutic opportunities for a progeroid syndrome?

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, United Kingdom.


Werner syndrome (WS) is a premature aging disorder that is widely used as a model for some aspects of the normal human aging process. Individuals with WS have several of the characteristics of normal aging, such as cataracts, hair graying, and skin aging, but manifest these at an early age. In addition, WS is associated with high levels of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis and type II diabetes. Recent data have indicated that fibroblasts derived from individuals with WS have activated a major molecular pathway involved in inflammation. This observation ties in with the presence of high plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines in individuals with WS. In this paper, the authors discuss the possibility that WS is an example of "inflamm-aging," in that many of the phenotypic manifestations may result from an increased inflammatory state. Moreover, drugs that specifically block this inflammation pathway may be possible candidates for therapeutic intervention in WS.

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