Autophagy and the cell biology of age-related disease

Nat Cell Biol. 2018 Dec;20(12):1338-1348. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0235-8. Epub 2018 Nov 26.


Macroautophagy (autophagy) is a conserved lysosomal degradation process essential for cellular homeostasis and adaption to stress. Accumulating evidence indicates that autophagy declines with age and that impaired autophagy predisposes individuals to age-related diseases, whereas interventions that stimulate autophagy often promote longevity. In this Review, we examine how the autophagy pathway restricts cellular damage and degeneration, and the impact of these functions towards tissue health and organismal lifespan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology*
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology