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Circ Res. 2012 Apr 13;110(8):1139-50. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.246470.

Growth factors, nutrient signaling, and cardiovascular aging.

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Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Growth factors regulated by specific macronutrients have been shown to promote aging and accelerate mortality in the majority of the organisms studied. In particular, the enzymes activated by growth hormone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor-1 in mammals and their orthologs in simple model organisms represent perhaps the best-understood proteins involved in the aging process. Dietary restriction, which reduces the level of insulin-like growth factor-1 and of other growth factors, has been associated with protection from diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, and deficiencies in growth hormone signaling and insulin-like growth factor-1 are strongly associated with protection from cancer and diabetes in both mice and humans; however, their role in cardiac function and cardiovascular diseases is controversial. Here, we review the link between growth factors, cardiac function, and heart disease with focus on the cardioprotective and sensitizing effect of growth factors in both model organisms and humans.

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