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Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(32):5684-94.

Cardiac aging and insulin resistance: could insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling be used as a therapeutic target?

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Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Program in Human Molecular Biology & Genetics, 15 N 2030 E Bldg # 533 Rm. 3410B, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Intrinsic cardiac aging is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is associated with structural and functional changes that impede cardiac responses to stress and to cardio-protective mechanisms. Although systemic insulin resistance and the associated risk factors exacerbate cardiac aging, cardiac-specific insulin resistance without confounding systemic alterations, could prevent cardiac aging. Thus, strategies aimed to reduce insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling in the heart prevent cardiac aging in lower organisms and in mammals but the mechanisms underlying this protection are not fully understood. In this review, we describe the impact of aging on the cardiovascular system and discuss the mounting evidence that reduced insulin/IGF signaling in the heart could alleviate age-associated alterations and preserve cardiac performance.

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