Introductory remarks

  • Paola S. Timiras
Part of the Faseb Monographs book series (FASEBM, volume 3)


One of the prevailing views of aging, and one that has been given ample exposure at this conference, is that aging results from cellular and molecular changes intrinsic to each cell in the body. However attractive this hypothesis might be, it does not appear to be substantiated in all cases, especially in higher organisms. Indeed, evidence is available to show that in these organisms, most cells of the body do not age because of intrinsic “pacemakers” of aging but, rather, because of changes in their environment. An indication that deterioration of control systems regulating interactions between the organism and its environment may be responsible for the aging process is provided by the findings of several investigators. For example, age-related alterations in cellular function can be eliminated by the administration of hormones and by appropriate neural stimulation. Changes in endocrine and autonomic nervous function associated with aging (and amply documented) may represent the cause for the many and diverse alterations that occur with age in cell function. Moreover, an alteration in neuroendocrine regulation might derive from imbalances in feedback mechanisms associated with the various “biological clocks” involved in homeostasis. (For a review on the subject of homeostasis and aging, see (1).)


Aging Process Introductory Remark Neuroendocrine Regulation Neural Stimulation Autonomic Nervous Function 
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  1. 1.
    Timiras, P. S. Decline in homeostatic regulation. In: Developmental Physiology and Aging. New York: Macmillan, 1972, p. 542–563.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Federation of American Societies 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola S. Timiras
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology-AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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