A biomimetic natural sciences approach to understanding the mechanisms of ageing in burden of life style diseases

Dai, L., Schurgers, L., Shiels, P. G. and Stenvinkel, P. (2021) A biomimetic natural sciences approach to understanding the mechanisms of ageing in burden of life style diseases. Clinical Science, 135(10), pp. 1251-1272. (doi: 10.1042/CS20201452) (PMID:34037207)

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The worldwide landscape of an ageing population and age-related disease brings with it huge socio-economic and public healthcare concerns across nations. Correspondingly, monumental human and financial resources have been invested in biomedical research, with a mission to decode the mechanisms of ageing and how these contribute to age-related disease. Multiple hallmarks of ageing have been identified that are common across taxa, highlighting their fundamental importance. These include dysregulated mitochondrial metabolism and telomeres biology, epigenetic modifications, cell–matrix interactions, proteostasis, dysregulated nutrient sensing, stem cell exhaustion, inflammageing and immuno-senescence. While our understanding of the molecular basis of ageing is improving, it remains a complex and multifactorial process that remains to be fully understood. A key aspect of the shortfall in our understanding of the ageing process lies in translating data from standard animal models to humans. Consequently, we suggest that a ‘biomimetic’ and comparative approach, integrating knowledge from species in the wild, as opposed to inbred genetically homogenous laboratory animals, can provide powerful insights into human ageing processes. Here we discuss some particularities and comparative patterns among several species from the animal kingdom, endowed with longevity or short lifespans and unique metabolic profiles that could be potentially exploited to the understanding of ageing and age-related diseases. Based upon lessons from nature, we also highlight several avenues for renewed focus in the pathophysiology of ageing and age-related disease (i.e. diet-microbiome-health axis, oxidative protein damage, adaptive homoeostasis and planetary health). We propose that a biomimetic alliance with collaborative research from different disciplines can improve our understanding of ageing and age-related diseases with long-term sustainable utility.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie (www.intricare.eu) [grant number 722609]; Strategic Research Program in Diabetes at Karolinska Institutet (Swedish Research Council) [grant number 2009-1068]; the Heart and Lung Foundation (to P.S.); CIMED (to P.S.). Open access for this article was enabled by the participation of Karolinska Institutet in an all-inclusive Read and Publish pilot with Portland Press and the Biochemical Society.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shiels, Professor Paul
Authors: Dai, L., Schurgers, L., Shiels, P. G., and Stenvinkel, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Clinical Science
Publisher:Portland Press
ISSN (Online):1470-8736
Published Online:26 May 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Clinical Science 135(10):1251-1272
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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