Ageing mechanisms and associated lipid changes

Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2014;12(5):682-9. doi: 10.2174/1570161111666131219094542.


Ageing is related to slowdown/breakdown of the somatotropic axis (i.e. the somatopause) leading to many physiological changes. The somatopause is accompanied by DNA and other macromolecule damage, and is characterized by a progressive decline in vitality and tissue function. We still do not have a definitive understanding of the mechanism( s) of ageing. Several overlapping theories have been proposed such as: 1) The free radical theory, 2) Mitochondrial Ageing, 3) The Glycation Theory, 4) Protein Damage and Maintenance in Ageing, and, 5) DNA Damage and Repair. Furthermore, several models of ageing were introduced such as genetically programmed senescence, telomere shortening, genomic instability, heterochromatin loss, altered epigenetic patterns and long lived cells. There are certain lipid modifications associated with the somatopause, characterized mainly by an increase in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both genders. In this review we consider the mechanisms of ageing and the associated changes in lipid metabolism according to gender.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / blood*
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use


  • Lipids
  • Simvastatin