Health Benefits of Anti-aging Drugs

Subcell Biochem. 2019:91:339-392. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-3681-2_13.


Aging, as a physiological process mediated by numerous regulatory pathways and transcription factors, is manifested by continuous progressive functional decline and increasing risk of chronic diseases. There is an increasing interest to identify pharmacological agents for treatment and prevention of age-related disease in humans. Animal models play an important role in identification and testing of anti-aging compounds; this step is crucial before the drug will enter human clinical trial or will be introduced to human medicine. One of the main goals of animal studies is better understanding of mechanistic targets, therapeutic implications and side-effects of the drug, which may be later translated into humans. In this chapter, we summarized the effects of different drugs reported to extend the lifespan in model organisms from round worms to rodents. Resveratrol, rapamycin, metformin and aspirin, showing effectiveness in model organism life- and healthspan extension mainly target the master regulators of aging such as mTOR, FOXO and PGC1α, affecting autophagy, inflammation and oxidative stress. In humans, these drugs were demonstrated to reduce inflammation, prevent CVD, and slow down the functional decline in certain organs. Additionally, potential anti-aging pharmacologic agents inhibit cancerogenesis, interfering with certain aspects of cell metabolism, proliferation, angioneogenesis and apoptosis.

Keywords: Aging; Anti-aging drugs; Healthspan; Lifespan; Model organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / genetics
  • Animals
  • Autophagy / drug effects
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Models, Animal
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Rejuvenation*