An update in toxicology of ageing

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2021 May;84:103611. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2021.103611. Epub 2021 Feb 10.


The field of ageing research has been rapidly advancing in recent decades and it had provided insight into the complexity of ageing phenomenon. However, as the organism-environment interaction appears to significantly affect the organismal pace of ageing, the systematic approach for gerontogenic risk assessment of environmental factors has yet to be established. This puts demand on development of effective biomarker of ageing, as a relevant tool to quantify effects of gerontogenic exposures, contingent on multidisciplinary research approach. Here we review the current knowledge regarding the main endogenous gerontogenic pathways involved in acceleration of ageing through environmental exposures. These include inflammatory and oxidative stress-triggered processes, dysregulation of maintenance of cellular anabolism and catabolism and loss of protein homeostasis. The most effective biomarkers showing specificity and relevancy to ageing phenotypes are summarized, as well. The crucial part of this review was dedicated to the comprehensive overview of environmental gerontogens including various types of radiation, certain types of pesticides, heavy metals, drugs and addictive substances, unhealthy dietary patterns, and sedentary life as well as psychosocial stress. The reported effects in vitro and in vivo of both recognized and potential gerontogens are described with respect to the up-to-date knowledge in geroscience. Finally, hormetic and ageing decelerating effects of environmental factors are briefly discussed, as well.

Keywords: ageing biomarkers; environmental factors; gerontogens; senescence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Humans


  • Biomarkers
  • Environmental Pollutants