Bioactive phytomolecules and aging inCaenorhabditis elegans

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Abstract

Aging is a complex phenomenon, a sum total of changes that occur in a living organism with the passage of time and leads to decreasing ability to survive stress, increasing functional impairment and growing probability of death. Aging changes can be attributed to development, genetic defects, environmental factors, disease and an innate process- the aging process. Aging has been one of the most crucial menace factors for a number of socio-economic burdens, hence discovery of any new chemical that modulates aging in research model organisms could lead to a new strategy for working upon age related diseases like diabetes, cancer and neuro-degenerative disorders. The present review highlights the previous studies suggesting effective modulation of the life prolonging mechanistic pathways and lifespan by various phytomolecules. The free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well established multicellular model organism for aging in biological research, being used by different laboratories worldwide. The enormous characteristics of this animal model that has contributed to its success includes its genetic pliability, invariant and fully described developmental program, well characterized genome, ease of maintenance, short and fertile life cycle and small body size. Being a multicellular organism it goes through a complex developmental process, including embryogenesis, morphogenesis to grow into an adult so, any biological information from C. elegans may be directly linked with more complex organisms, such as human. The reports on life span extension on exposure to plant based compounds clearly depicts that aging can be slowed down and thus makes life span extension an interesting area for research. This review summarizes the current understanding on interaction of phytomolecules with signalling pathways of aging that provides potential application in human health improvement and development of anti-aging therapeutics.

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