The biology of aging has not been fully clarified, but the free radical theory of aging is one of the strongest aging theories proposed to date. The free radical theory has been expanded to the oxidative stress theory, in which mitochondria play a central role in the development of the aging process because of their critical roles in bioenergetics, oxidant production, and regulation of cell death. A decline in cardiac mitochondrial function associated with the accumulation of oxidative damage might be responsible, at least in part, for the decline in cardiac performance with age. In contrast, lifelong caloric restriction can attenuate functional decline with age, delay the onset of morbidity, and extend lifespan in various species. The effect of caloric restriction appears to be related to a reduction in cellular damage induced by reactive oxygen species. There is increasing evidence that sirtuins play an essential role in the reduction of mitochondrial oxidative stress during caloric restriction. We speculate that cardiac sirtuins attenuate the accumulation of oxidative damage associated with age by modifying specific mitochondrial proteins posttranscriptionally. Therefore, the distinct role of each sirtuin in the heart subjected to caloric restriction should be clarified to translate sirtuin biology into clinical practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology