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Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Feb;14(2):149-57.

Can we delay the accelerated lung aging in COPD? Anti-aging molecules and interventions.

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3rd Respiratory Medicine Department, Sismanogleio General Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been recently characterized as a disease of accelerated lung aging. The prevalence of COPD is age-dependent suggesting an intimate relationship between the pathogenesis of COPD and aging. Lung function decline, the hallmark feature of COPD evolution, is more prominent with increasing age and this decline is greater in smoking individuals. One of the major goals of COPD pharmacotherapy is the development of drugs that would be able to result in a decrease of the decline in lung function over years. However, till nowadays smoking cessation is the only known intervention which is able to decelerate lung function decline. Several mechanisms of aging, including oxidative stress, inflammation and telomere shortening have been shown to be implicated in COPD. Furthermore, numerous anti-aging molecules, including sirtuins and Nrf-2 are reduced, and pathways such as mTOR and genes such as Klotho have also been shown to be abnormal in the lungs of COPD patients. The above mechanisms have been associated with the accelerated lung aging in COPD patients. Numerous therapeutic interventions have been studied in an attempt to reverse accelerated lung aging, and some of them have already been tested in clinical trials. The aim of the present review is to summarize the mechanisms associated with the accelerated lung aging in COPD and to provide information about the possible therapeutic implications targeting those mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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