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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(8), 9826-9844; doi:10.3390/ijms13089826

Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Immune System Regulation in Drosophila

Insect Infection and Immunity Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Microbiology and Immunology Program, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, The George Washington University, Lisner Hall 336, 2023 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA
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Received: 8 July 2012 / Revised: 25 July 2012 / Accepted: 30 July 2012 / Published: 7 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Immunology)
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Abstract

Aging is a complex process that involves the accumulation of deleterious changes resulting in overall decline in several vital functions, leading to the progressive deterioration in physiological condition of the organism and eventually causing disease and death. The immune system is the most important host-defense mechanism in humans and is also highly conserved in insects. Extensive research in vertebrates has concluded that aging of the immune function results in increased susceptibility to infectious disease and chronic inflammation. Over the years, interest has grown in studying the molecular interaction between aging and the immune response to pathogenic infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for dissecting the genetic and genomic basis of important biological processes, such as aging and the innate immune system, and deciphering parallel mechanisms in vertebrate animals. Here, we review the recent advances in the identification of key players modulating the relationship between molecular aging networks and immune signal transduction pathways in the fly. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in aging and immune system regulation will potentially lead to the development of strategies for decreasing the impact of age-related diseases, thus improving human health and life span.
Keywords: aging; innate immunity; infection; insects; gene transcription; antimicrobial peptides; age-related diseases aging; innate immunity; infection; insects; gene transcription; antimicrobial peptides; age-related diseases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Eleftherianos, I.; Castillo, J.C. Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Immune System Regulation in Drosophila. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 9826-9844.

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