Mitochondria, oxidants, and aging

Cell. 2005 Feb 25;120(4):483-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2005.02.001.


The free radical theory of aging postulates that the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species is the major determinant of life span. Numerous cell culture, invertebrate, and mammalian models exist that lend support to this half-century-old hypothesis. Here we review the evidence that both supports and conflicts with the free radical theory and examine the growing link between mitochondrial metabolism, oxidant formation, and the biology of aging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Free Radicals / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Yeasts


  • Free Radicals
  • Oxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species