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Mol Aspects Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;27(5-6):403-10. Epub 2006 Sep 14.

Autophagy: a cell repair mechanism that retards ageing and age-associated diseases and can be intensified pharmacologically.

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  • Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale di Biologia e Patologia dell'Invecchiamento, Via Roma 55, 56126 Pisa, Italy. ebergami@med.unipi.it

Abstract

The process of ageing denotes a post-maturational deterioration of cells and organisms with the passage of time, an increased vulnerability to challenges and prevalence of age-associated diseases, and a decreased ability to survive. Causes may be found in an enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage and not completed housekeeping, with an accumulation of altered ROS-hypergenerating organelles in older cells. It has been shown that autophagy is the only tier of defence against the accumulation of effete mitochondria and peroxisomes; that functioning of autophagy declines with increasing age and determinates cell and individual lifespan; that autophagy can be intensified by drugs; and that the pharmacological intensification of autophagy may be a big step towards retardation of ageing and prevention and therapy of age-associated diseases including neurodegeneration.

PMID:
16973211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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