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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 207-213

The oxidative hypothesis of senescence


Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8, Eroilor Sanitari, 76241 Bucharest, Romania

Correspondence Address:
M Gilca
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8, Eroilor Sanitari, 76241 Bucharest, Romania

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.33869

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The oxidative hypothesis of senescence, since its origin in 1956, has garnered significant evidence and growing support among scientists for the notion that free radicals play an important role in ageing, either as "damaging" molecules or as signaling molecules. Age-increasing oxidative injuries induced by free radicals, higher susceptibility to oxidative stress in short-lived organisms, genetic manipulations that alter both oxidative resistance and longevity and the anti-ageing effect of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting are a few examples of accepted scientific facts that support the oxidative theory of senescence. Though not completely understood due to the complex "network" of redox regulatory systems, the implication of oxidative stress in the ageing process is now well documented. Moreover, it is compatible with other current ageing theories (e.g., those implicating the mitochondrial damage/mitochondrial-lysosomal axis, stress-induced premature senescence, biological "garbage" accumulation, etc). This review is intended to summarize and critically discuss the redox mechanisms involved during the ageing process: sources of oxidant agents in ageing (mitochondrial -electron transport chain, nitric oxide synthase reaction- and non-mitochondrial- Fenton reaction, microsomal cytochrome P450 enzymes, peroxisomal β -oxidation and respiratory burst of phagocytic cells), antioxidant changes in ageing (enzymatic- superoxide dismutase, glutathione-reductase, glutathion peroxidase, catalase- and non-enzymatic glutathione, ascorbate, urate, bilirubine, melatonin, tocopherols, carotenoids, ubiquinol), alteration of oxidative damage repairing mechanisms and the role of free radicals as signaling molecules in ageing.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow