Aging is the gradual decline of physiological functions and organismal fitness, which leads to age-dependent fitness loss, diseases and eventually mortality. Understanding the cause of aging constitutes one of most intriguing areas of research in biology. On both the cellular and molecular levels, it has been hypothesized that there are aging determinants to control the onset and progression of aging, including the loss of beneficial components and accumulation of detrimental factors. This Review highlights the recent advance in identifying various factors that affect the aging process, focusing on how these determinants affect the lifespan and fitness of a cell or organism. With more and more aging determinants revealed, further understanding about their functions and interconnections could enable the development of specific intervention to extend healthy lifespan and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.
Keywords: Beneficial factor; Cellular aging; Detrimental factor; Lifespan extension; Organismal aging.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.