Caloric restriction and aging stem cells: the stick and the carrot?

Exp Gerontol. 2014 Feb;50:137-48. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.10.014. Epub 2013 Nov 6.


Adult tissue stem cells have the ability to adjust to environmental changes and affect also the proliferation of neighboring cells, with important consequences on tissue maintenance and regeneration. Stem cell renewal and proliferation is strongly regulated during aging of the organism. Caloric restriction is the most powerful anti-aging strategy conserved throughout evolution in the animal kingdom. Recent studies relate the properties of caloric restriction to its ability in reprogramming stem-like cell states and in prolonging the capacity of stem cells to self-renew, proliferate, differentiate, and replace cells in several adult tissues. However this general paradigm presents with exceptions. The scope of this review is to highlight how caloric restriction impacts on diverse stem cell compartments and, by doing so, might differentially delay aging in the tissues of lower and higher organisms.

Keywords: Aging; Caloric restriction; Cell renewal; Regeneration; Stem cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Sirtuin 1 / physiology


  • SIRT1 protein, human
  • Sirtuin 1