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Mech Ageing Dev. 2006 May;127(5):436-43. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Adaptive mechanisms to oxidative stress during aging.

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Department of Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 78229, USA.


Whether or not oxidative stress is the cause of the aging process, as proposed by the oxidative stress theory of aging remains unknown; but accumulated evidence overwhelmingly identifies increased oxidative stress with age as a source of damage to cellular structure and function. From an evolutionary perspective, the utilization of oxygen as a life supporting means makes oxidative stress an inescapable part of an organism's biological system. The inseparability of oxidative stress from the biological system can be viewed as an adaptive response that all aerobic organisms undergo to ward-off the potentially harmful effects of oxygen and its derivatives, including free radicals. The organism's adaptive mechanisms include an intricate network of defenses that regulate and guard against any over-acting oxidative reactions to ensure its survival. This review discusses and illustrates several adaptive responses at various levels (from gene regulation to physical exercise) that organisms use as part of their survival strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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