Reviews & Analysis

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  • Long-term exposure to air pollution is harmful to human health, causing damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. A new study provides evidence that even short-term, relatively low-level air pollution can be detrimental for cognitive function, and suggests the possibility that a commonly used drug might help reduce the harmful effects.

    • Joanne Ryan
    • Alice J. Owen
    News & Views
  • Using mouse models of osteoarthritis (OA), a new study finds that osteoclasts secrete exosomes that deliver miRNAs to chondrocytes, leading to an increase in metalloproteinase activity in cartilage. A bone-specific inhibitor of exosome production can halt this process, hinting at a new therapeutic strategy for patients with OA.

    • Ingrid Meulenbelt
    • Yolande F. M. Ramos
    • D. Michiel Pegtel
    News & Views
  • Groh and colleagues investigate the age-related degeneration of axons in the optic nerve and other brain regions and show that at least part of this degeneration is due to the presence of T cells.

    • Paloma Navarro Negredo
    • Anne Brunet
    News & Views
  • In this Perspective, McMahon et al. examine the emerging roles and implications of post-transcriptional RNA modifications, or the epitranscriptome, in aging and age-related diseases, highlighting potential epitranscriptomic mechanisms and/or their dysfunction that may regulate the aging process.

    • Mary McMahon
    • Craig Forester
    • Rochelle Buffenstein
  • Polypharmacy is a leading health concern entangled with many geriatric syndromes. This Review provides an overview of the current research landscape and a critical appraisal of existing and emerging approaches to address polypharmacy.

    • Raaj S. Mehta
    • Bharati D. Kochar
    • Andrew T. Chan
    Review Article
  • Chronological age fails to capture how the process of aging differs between individuals. Variability in rates of biological aging in youth is related to anatomical and functional differences already visible by midlife. This portends substantially different aging outcomes that have individual- and societal-level implications.

    • William J. Jagust
    News & Views
  • Biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease are critical to our efforts to identify disease-modifying therapies. Kern et al. document potential microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers and trends in miRNA regulation that occur in a bimodal distribution with age.

    • Liana S. Rosenthal
    • Jun Yang
    • Xiaobo Mao
    News & Views
  • Zhang et al. describe a neural circuit that reduces lifespan when food-restricted worms smell food. This circuit signals the intestine via octopamine, the invertebrate homolog of norepinephrine, to activate AMPKα. Importantly, norepinephrine signaling also activates AMPKα in mammalian cells, suggesting a conserved mechanism.

    • Kaiden H. Price
    • Michael N. Nitabach
    News & Views
  • The authors review how the blood–brain barrier, a regulatory interface that controls interactions between the blood and central nervous system, changes during healthy aging, and discuss how some of these changes may predispose to age-associated diseases.

    • William A. Banks
    • May J. Reed
    • Michelle A. Erickson
    Review Article
  • In this issue of Nature Aging, Janbek et al. report results of a registry-based cohort study in Denmark where older people with incident dementia had higher risk of infections, especially in the nervous system. They call for interventions for better health and quality of life for people living with dementia.

    • Roman Romero-Ortuno
    News & Views
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction can result in numerous diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. CBP/p300, a histone acetyltransferase, has been uncovered as a key factor in the response to mitochondrial perturbation. It controls transcription of mitochondrial stress response genes, promotes innate immunity and enhances longevity.

    • Ying Liu
    News & Views
  • Accelerated aging and cellular senescence are driving forces of pulmonary fibrosis. A novel anti-aging therapeutic approach combats lung fibrosis by targeting senescent fibrogenic cells for apoptosis.

    • Yan Zhou
    • David Lagares
    News & Views
  • Despite scarce evidence, ageism is often cited as a social factor contributing to elder mistreatment. This Perspective examines the limited research linking these issues and proposes a model and research agenda to further understand the relationship.

    • Karl Pillemer
    • David Burnes
    • Andie MacNeil
  • An extensive multiomic resource using human monocytes reveals large-scale remodeling of DNA methylation landscapes in healthy aging and accelerated or pathological aging contexts. This work provides an invaluable resource with important implications for the study of age-related changes in immune function.

    • Minhoo Kim
    • Bérénice A. Benayoun
    News & Views
  • The human gut microbiota is comprised of a vast assortment of trillions of microbial cells belonging to hundreds of different species, differing substantially between individual hosts. A new study has systematically investigated the relationship of host age to gut microbes in a geographically restricted and ethnically homogeneous human cohort, revealing key differences across ages and sexes.

    • Ezgi Özkurt
    • Falk Hildebrand
    News & Views
  • Chambers et al. show that senescent skin cells in older adults provoke monocyte-dependent local inflammation in response to injury, which hampers T cell recall responses to viruses. Importantly, they further show that this phenomenon can be blocked pharmacologically to boost adaptive immunity.

    • Herbert Kasler
    • Eric Verdin
    News & Views
  • Accurate blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are critical tools that have the potential to revolutionize dementia research, clinical trials and clinical care. Models combining blood-based biomarkers that represent multiple aspects of AD brain pathology with key individual level factors may improve prediction of AD dementia.

    • Suzanne E. Schindler
    • Randall J. Bateman
    News & Views
  • In this Perspective, Rando and Wyss-Coray discuss recent advances in the field of the biology of aging, focusing on new concepts related to the processes of cell and tissue aging and how they impact the healthspan and lifespan of an individual.

    • Thomas A. Rando
    • Tony Wyss-Coray
  • Intermittent and periodic fasting are emerging as important interventions with the potential to extend longevity and healthspan. This Review discusses how they affect longevity and healthspan in model organisms and humans, their connection to major nutrient-sensing signaling pathways and the importance of refeeding.

    • Valter D. Longo
    • Maira Di Tano
    • Novella Guidi
    Review Article