Biomolecular Markers of Brain Aging

Author: Min Li1,2, Haiting An2,3, Wenxiao Wang2,4, Dongfeng Wei2,5
1 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
2 Beijing Aging Brain Rejuvenation Initiative (BABRI) Centre, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
3 Beijing Neurosurgical Institute, Beijing Tian Tan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
4 School of Systems Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
5 Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: Adv Exp Med Biol
Date published: 2023 Jul 8
Other: Volume ID: 1419 , Pages: 111-126 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/978-981-99-1627-6_9. , Word Count: 228

Characterized by the gradual loss of physiological integrity, impaired function, and increased susceptibility to death, aging is considered the primary risk factor for major human diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. The time-dependent accumulation of cellular damage is widely considered the general cause of aging. While the mechanism of normal aging is still unresolved, researchers have identified different markers of aging, including genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient-sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. Theories of aging can be divided into two categories: (1) aging is a genetically programmed process, and (2) aging is a random process caused by gradual damage to the organism over time as a result of its vital activities. Aging affects the entire human body, and aging of the brain is undoubtedly different from all other organs, as neurons are highly differentiated postmitotic cells, and the lifespan of most neurons in the postnatal period is equal to the lifespan of the brain. In this chapter, we discuss the conserved mechanisms of aging that may underlie the changes observed in the aging brain, with a focus on mitochondrial function and oxidative stress, autophagy and protein turnover, insulin/IGF signaling, target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling, and sirtuin function.

Keywords: Calcium homeostasis; Genomic instability; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Neural regulators; Proteostasis.

PMID: 37418210 DOI: 10.1007/978-981-99-1627-6_9