Inflammaging and Anti-Inflammaging: The Role of Cytokines in Extreme Longevity

  • Paola Lucia Minciullo
  • Antonino Catalano
  • Giuseppe Mandraffino
  • Marco Casciaro
  • Andrea Crucitti
  • Giuseppe Maltese
  • Nunziata Morabito
  • Antonino Lasco
  • Sebastiano Gangemi
  • Giorgio Basile


Longevity and aging are two sides of the same coin, as they both derive from the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Aging is a complex, dynamic biological process characterized by continuous remodeling. One of the most recent theories on aging focuses on immune response, and takes into consideration the activation of subclinical, chronic low-grade inflammation which occurs with aging, named “inflammaging”. Long-lived people, especially centenarians, seem to cope with chronic subclinical inflammation through an anti-inflammatory response, called therefore “anti-inflammaging”. In the present review, we have focused our attention on the contrast between inflammaging and anti-inflammaging systems, by evaluating the role of cytokines and their impact on extreme longevity. Cytokines are the expression of a network involving genes, polymorphisms and environment, and are involved both in inflammation and anti-inflammation. We have described the role of IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, IL-15, IL-18, IL-22, IL-23, TNF-α, IFN-γ as pro-inflammatory cytokines, of IL-1Ra, IL-4, IL-10, TGF-β1 as anti-inflammatory cytokines, and of lipoxin A4 and heat shock proteins as mediators of cytokines. We believe that if inflammaging is a key to understand aging, anti-inflammaging may be one of the secrets of longevity.


Inflammaging Anti-inflammaging Cytokine Aging Longevity 





Natural killer cells


Tumor necrosis factor




IL-18 binding protein


Single nucleotide polymorphisms


IL-1 receptor antagonist


Heat shock proteins




Transforming growth factor


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Copyright information

© L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wroclaw, Poland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Lucia Minciullo
    • 1
  • Antonino Catalano
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Mandraffino
    • 3
  • Marco Casciaro
    • 1
  • Andrea Crucitti
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Maltese
    • 4
  • Nunziata Morabito
    • 2
  • Antonino Lasco
    • 2
  • Sebastiano Gangemi
    • 1
  • Giorgio Basile
    • 2
  1. 1.Unit and School of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Unit and School of Geriatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  4. 4.Unit For Metabolic Medicine, Cardiovascular DivisionKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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