ROLE of IGF-1 System in the Modulation of Longevity: Controversies and New Insights From a Centenarians' Perspective
Frontiers in Endocrinology , Volume 10
Human aging is currently defined as a physiological decline of biological functions in the body with a continual adaptation to internal and external damaging. The endocrine system plays a major role in orchestrating cellular interactions, metabolism, growth, and aging. Several in vivo studies from worms to mice showed that downregulated activity of the GH/IGF-1/insulin pathway could be beneficial for the extension of human life span, whereas results are contradictory in humans. In the present review, we discuss the potential role of the IGF-1 system in modulation of longevity, hypothesizing that the endocrine and metabolic adaptation observed in centenarians and in mammals during caloric restriction may be a physiological strategy for extending lifespan through a slower cell growing/metabolism, a better physiologic reserve capacity, a shift of cellular metabolism from cell proliferation to repair activities and a decrease in accumulation of senescent cells. Therefore, understanding of the link between IGF-1/insulin system and longevity may have future clinical applications in promoting healthy aging and in Rehabilitation Medicine.