Altered Biochemical Responsiveness and Hormone Receptor Changes during Aging

  • George S. Roth

Abstract

Loss of vitality is one of the most obvious and important manifestations of aging. This decline in performance is particularly noticable under conditions of stress or exposure to various physical and chemical agents. Cases in point range from reduced ability of senescent individuals to avoid oncoming traffic, to decreased resistance to bacterial and viral infection, to less efficient metabolism of ingested fatty foods. In such situations, the ability of senescent organisms to make appropriate physiological and biochemical responses is markedly altered. Muscle contraction and relaxation, cell division, nutrient utilization, and numerous other biological phenomena are under rigid control, and impaired ability to properly regulate these activities in response to internal and external challenge may have disastrous consequences for the aged organism. Almost all such responses on the part of an organism either directly involve or are somehow modulated by the action of hormones. In fact, the markedly altered ability of aged organisms, tissues, and cells to respond biochemically to hormonal signals has been established by numerous laboratory documentations, some of which will be discussed below. Consequently, it is of utmost importance to gerontologists (those who study aging) to determine exactly how this process influences the various mechanisms of hormone action. Only after establishing this can reasonable attempts to restore such mechanisms to a youthful state be initiated.

Keywords

Obesity Filtration Carbohydrate Estrogen Glucocorticoid 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • George S. Roth
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Endocrinology Section, Clinical Physiology Branch, Gerontology Research CenterBaltimore City HospitalsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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