Inflammaging as a Major Characteristic of Old People: Can It Be Prevented or Cured?

Department of Experimental Pathology and Interdepartmental Centre L. Galvani at the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Nutrition Reviews (Impact Factor: 6.08). 12/2008; 65(12 Pt 2):S173-6. DOI: 10.1301/nr.2007.dec.S173-S176
Source: PubMed


Widespread aging at the population level is a recent phenomenon that emerged in affluent societies. Inflammation is necessary to cope with damaging agents and is crucial for survival, particularly to cope with acute inflammation during our reproductive years. But chronic exposure to a variety of antigens, especially to some viruses such as cytomegalovirus, for a period much longer than that predicted by evolution, induces a chronic low-grade inflammatory status that contributes to age-associated morbidity and mortality. This condition carries the proposed name "inflammaging". Centenarians are unique in that, despite high levels of pro-inflammatory markers, they also exhibit anti-inflammatory markers that may delay disease onset. The key to successful aging and longevity is to decrease chronic inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens.

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    • "The number of astrocytes, at least in human brains, for which the relevant counts were performed (Pelvig et al., 2008; Fabricius et al., 2013), does not change with age, remaining unaffected even in centenarians (Fabricius et al., 2013). Although the concept of the age-dependent increase in astroglial reactivity is quite widespread (Unger, 1998; Lynch et al., 2010) and is used to corroborate the ideas of the so called ''inflammaging'' (Franceschi, 2007), which regards brain senescence as a chronic neuroinflammation; the experimental data on this matter are, however, controversial. In aged animals a decrease (e.g. "
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    Neuroscience 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.01.007 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "These systemic toxicities were closely representative of those previously noted clinically with FDA­approved immu­ nostimulatory IT therapeutics such as high­dose IL­2 and IFN­ (Lee and Margolin, 2011). Aging is associated with a gradual decline in immunolog­ ical function but is also accompanied by the coincidence of a systemic, chronic, and low­grade proinflammatory response termed inflammaging that leads to increased systemic cyto­ kine levels, namely IL­1, IL­6, and TNF (Franceschi, 2007). "
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    Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2014; 211(12). DOI:10.1084/jem.20140116 · 12.52 Impact Factor
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    • "Elevated concentrations have been measured in the bronchoalveolar lumen in patients with asthma compared to normal healthy individuals and concentrations further increase after birch pollen provocation (Lundstrom et al., 2012). These elevated concentrations of pro-inflammatory oxylipins in the older age group reported here, therefore, may provide mechanistic information to explain the higher levels of inflammation in older versus younger individuals (Franceschi, 2007). Our findings are also consistent with the increased prevalence of inflammatory related conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity with increased age (Statistics Canada, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Oxylipins, including the eicosanoids, are highly bioactive molecules endogenously produced from polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oxylipins play a key role in chronic disease progression. It is possible, but unknown, if oxylipin concentrations change with the consumption of functional foods or differ with subject age. Therefore, in a parallel comparator trial, 20 healthy individuals were recruited into a younger (19-28 years) or older (45-64 years) age group (n=10/group). Participants ingested one muffin/day containing 30g of milled flaxseed (6g alpha-linolenic acid) for 4weeks. Plasma oxylipins were isolated through solid phase extraction, analyzed with HPLC-MS/MS targeted lipidomics, and quantified with the stable isotope dilution method. At baseline, the older group exhibited 13 oxylipins≥2-fold the concentration of the younger group. Specifically, pro-inflammatory oxylipins 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, 9,10,13-trihydroxyoctadecenoic acid, and 9,12,13-trihydroxyoctadecenoic acid were significantly greater in the older (1.1±0.23 nM, 5.6±0.84 nM, and 4.5±0.58 nM, respectively) versus the younger group (0.34±0.12 nM, 3.5±0.33 nM, and 3.0±0.24 nM, respectively) (p<0.05). After 4weeks of flaxseed consumption the number of oxylipins that were≥2-fold higher in the older versus the younger group was reduced to 3. 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, 9,10,13-trihydroxyoctadecenoic acid, and 9,12,13-trihydroxyoctadecenoic acid decreased in the older group to concentrations equivalent to the younger group after flaxseed consumption. These data suggest a potential role for oxylipins in the aging process and how nutritional interventions like flaxseed can beneficially disrupt these biological changes associated with inflammation and aging.
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