Theory Article Volume 10, Issue 10 pp 2557—2569
Aging and aging-associated diseases: a microRNA-based endocrine regulation hypothesis
- 1 DiamiR Biosciences, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852, USA
received: June 25, 2018 ; accepted: October 19, 2018 ; published: October 29, 2018 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101612
How to Cite
Copyright: Umansky. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Although there are numerous hypotheses explaining the nature of aging and associated processes, two concepts are dominant: (i) aging is a result of cell-autonomous processes, such as the accumulation of DNA mutations, aberrant methylations, protein defects, and shortening of telomeres, leading to either inhibition of cellular proliferation and death of non-dividing terminally differentiated cells or tumor development; (ii) aging is a result of a central program that is switched on at a specific stage of organismic development. The microRNA-based endocrine regulation hypothesis combines the two above concepts by proposing central regulation of cell death occurrences via hypothalamus-pituitary gland (PG)-secreted miRNA hormones, the expression and/or secretion of which are regulated by sex hormones. This hypothesis explains such well-known phenomena as inverse comorbidity of either cancer or Alzheimer’s (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases; higher AD morbidity and lower frequency of many common types of cancer in women vs. men; higher risk of early AD and lower risk of cancer in subjects with Down syndrome; longer life expectancy in women vs. men and much lower sex-dependent differences, if any, in other mammals; increased lifespans due to hypophysectomy or PG hypofunction; and parabiotic effects of blood or plasma transfusions between young and old animals.