Special Reviews

The Endocrine Regulation of Aging by Insulin-like Signals

Science  28 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5611, pp. 1346-1351
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081447

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Abstract

Reduced signaling of insulin-like peptides increases the life-span of nematodes, flies, and rodents. In the nematode and the fly, secondary hormones downstream of insulin-like signaling appear to regulate aging. In mammals, the order in which the hormones act is unresolved because insulin, insulin-like growth factor–1, growth hormone, and thyroid hormones are interdependent. In all species examined to date, endocrine manipulations can slow aging without concurrent costs in reproduction, but with inevitable increases in stress resistance. Despite the similarities among mammals and invertebrates in insulin-like peptides and their signal cascade, more research is needed to determine whether these signals control aging in the same way in all the species by the same mechanism.

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