Aging, anti-aging, and hormesis

Mech Ageing Dev. 2004 Apr;125(4):285-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2004.01.006.


As a result of almost 50 years of efforts in collecting descriptive data, biogerontologists are now able to construct general principles of aging and to explore possibilities of gerontomodulation. Most of the data indicate that aging is characterized by a stochastic accumulation of molecular damage and a progressive failure of maintenance and repair, and the genes involved in homeodynamic pathways are the most likely candidate virtual gerontogenes. Several approaches are being tried and tested to modulate aging in a wide variety of organisms, but with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of human life in old age. These approaches include gene therapy, hormonal supplementation, nutritional modulation, and intervention by antioxidants and other molecules. A recent approach is that of applying hormesis in aging research and therapy, which is based on the principle of stimulation of maintenance and repair pathways by repeated exposure to mild stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*