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      Cancer and Aging - the Inflammatory Connection

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          Abstract

          Aging and cancer are highly correlated biological phenomena. Various cellular processes such as DNA damage responses and cellular senescence that serve as tumor suppressing mechanisms throughout life result in degenerative changes and contribute to the aging phenotype. In turn, aging is considered a pro-tumorigenic state, and constitutes the single most important risk factor for cancer development. However, the causative relations between aging and cancer is not straight forward, as these processes carry contradictory hallmarks; While aging is characterized by tissue degeneration and organ loss of function, cancer is a state of sustained cellular proliferation and gain of new functions. Here, we review the molecular and cellular pathways that stand in the base of aging related cancer. Specifically, we deal with the inflammatory perspective that link these two processes, and suggest possible molecular targets that may be exploited to modify their courses.

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          Most cited references 91

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          Senescence and tumour clearance is triggered by p53 restoration in murine liver carcinomas.

          Although cancer arises from a combination of mutations in oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes, the extent to which tumour suppressor gene loss is required for maintaining established tumours is poorly understood. p53 is an important tumour suppressor that acts to restrict proliferation in response to DNA damage or deregulation of mitogenic oncogenes, by leading to the induction of various cell cycle checkpoints, apoptosis or cellular senescence. Consequently, p53 mutations increase cell proliferation and survival, and in some settings promote genomic instability and resistance to certain chemotherapies. To determine the consequences of reactivating the p53 pathway in tumours, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to conditionally regulate endogenous p53 expression in a mosaic mouse model of liver carcinoma. We show that even brief reactivation of endogenous p53 in p53-deficient tumours can produce complete tumour regressions. The primary response to p53 was not apoptosis, but instead involved the induction of a cellular senescence program that was associated with differentiation and the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines. This program, although producing only cell cycle arrest in vitro, also triggered an innate immune response that targeted the tumour cells in vivo, thereby contributing to tumour clearance. Our study indicates that p53 loss can be required for the maintenance of aggressive carcinomas, and illustrates how the cellular senescence program can act together with the innate immune system to potently limit tumour growth.
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            Inflamm-aging. An evolutionary perspective on immunosenescence.

            In this paper we extend the "network theory of aging," and we argue that a global reduction in the capacity to cope with a variety of stressors and a concomitant progressive increase in proinflammatory status are major characteristics of the aging process. This phenomenon, which we will refer to as "inflamm-aging," is provoked by a continuous antigenic load and stress. On the basis of evolutionary studies, we also argue that the immune and the stress responses are equivalent and that antigens are nothing other than particular types of stressors. We also propose to return macrophage to its rightful place as central actor not only in the inflammatory response and immunity, but also in the stress response. The rate of reaching the threshold of proinflammatory status over which diseases/disabilities ensue and the individual capacity to cope with and adapt to stressors are assumed to be complex traits with a genetic component. Finally, we argue that the persistence of inflammatory stimuli over time represents the biologic background (first hit) favoring the susceptibility to age-related diseases/disabilities. A second hit (absence of robust gene variants and/or presence of frail gene variants) is likely necessary to develop overt organ-specific age-related diseases having an inflammatory pathogenesis, such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Following this perspective, several paradoxes of healthy centenarians (increase of plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines, acute phase proteins, and coagulation factors) are illustrated and explained. In conclusion, the beneficial effects of inflammation devoted to the neutralization of dangerous/harmful agents early in life and in adulthood become detrimental late in life in a period largely not foreseen by evolution, according to the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging.
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              NLRP3 inflammasome activation: The convergence of multiple signalling pathways on ROS production?

              The NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a multiprotein complex that activates caspase 1, leading to the processing and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-18. The NLRP3 inflammasome is activated by a wide range of danger signals that derive not only from microorganisms but also from metabolic dysregulation. It is unclear how these highly varied stress signals can be detected by a single inflammasome. In this Opinion article, we review the different signalling pathways that have been proposed to engage the NLRP3 inflammasome and suggest a model in which one of the crucial elements for NLRP3 activation is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Aging Dis
                Aging Dis
                Aging and Disease
                JKL International LLC
                2152-5250
                October 2017
                1 October 2017
                : 8
                : 5
                : 611-627
                Affiliations
                1Department of Medicine, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
                2Department of Clinical Oncology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence should be addressed to: Prof. Arie Ben-Yehuda, Department of Medicine, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Email: benyehuda@ 123456hadassah.org.il
                Article
                ad-8-5-611
                10.14336/AD.2016.1230
                5614325
                Copyright: © 2017 Zinger et al.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                autophagy, immunosenescence, inflammation, senescence, cancer, aging

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