Vitagenes are genes that control various maintenance and repair processes in the body, in a network of longevity assurance processes.
Scientists have been doing experimental strategies through which the transmutation of vitagenes into virtual gerontogenes (which accelerate aging) include induction of molecular damage, antisense intervention, and genetic screening for varied efficiencies of the members of the vitagene family.
A reversal of this approach by maintaining or recovering the activity of vitagenes has been suggested to lead to a delay of aging, a decreased occurrence of age-related diseases, and a prolongation of a healthy life span.
Research on the genes has concentrated on generating mild stress on these systems to generate anti aging effects.
For example, different responses exist in the brain to detect oxidative stress which is controlled by vitagenes, including the heat shock protein (HSP) system.
Of the various HSPs, heme oxygenase-I (HO-1) could represent a protective system potentially active against brain oxidative injury, by generating the vasoactive molecule carbon monoxide and the antioxidant bilirubin.
Research has also suggested that the stress levels may have to be modulated upwards as people age to generate the same level of anti aging response.
Vitagenes - Studies
Rattan SI. The nature of gerontogenes and vitagenes. Antiaging effects of repeated heat shock on human fibroblasts. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1998, 854:54-60.
Calabrese V, Boyd-Kimball D, Scapagnini G, Butterfield DA. Nitric oxide and cellular stress response in brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders: the role of vitagenes. In Vivo. 2004 May-Jun;18(3):245-67.
V Calabrese, C Colombrita, R Sultana, G Scapagnini, M Calvani, D A Butterfield, and A M Giuffrida Stella. Antioxid Redox Signal. ;8 (3-4):404-16. Redox modulation of heat shock protein expression by acetylcarnitine in aging brain: relationship to antioxidant status and mitochondrial function.
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