Natural Compounds and Aging: Between Autophagy and Inflammasome

  • Chuang S
  • Lin C
  • Fang J
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Abstract

Aging, a natural physiological process, is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity. Loss of cellular homeostasis in the aging process results from different sources, including changes in genes, cell imbalance, and dysregulation of the host-defense systems. Innate immunity dysfunctions during aging are connected with several human pathologies, including metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have clearly indicated that the decline in autophagic capacity that accompanies aging results in the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and further process dysfunction of the NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation in the macrophages, which produce the proinflammatory cytokines. These factors impair cellular housekeeping and expose cells to higher risk in many age-related diseases, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. In this review, we investigated the relationship between dysregulation of the inflammasome activation and perturbed autophagy with aging as well as the possible molecular mechanisms. We also summarized the natural compounds from food intake, which have potential to reduce the inflammasome activation and enhance autophagy and can further improve the age-related diseases discussed in this paper.

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Authors

  • Shih Yi Chuang

  • Chih Hung Lin

  • Jia You Fang

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