Developmental drift as a mechanism for aging: lessons from nematodes

Biogerontology. 2013 Dec;14(6):693-701. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013-9462-3.


Aging is a universal biological process that afflicts every creature on this planet. To date, we have a very poor understanding of what actually causes this degeneration. A commonly held view is that aging is the result of damage accumulation over a lifetime. However, research has shown that aging is not only the result of wear and tear in the organism, but also of genetic programs involved in organismal development that go awry as selective pressure is released. This review focuses on Wnt signalling pathways and discusses how these genetic programs orchestrate changes in the organism that could cause aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genetic Drift
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway* / genetics


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins