Autophagy is an important housekeeping process that maintains a proper cellular homeostasis under normal physiologic and/or pathologic conditions. It is responsible for the disposal and recycling of metabolic macromolecules and damaged organelles through broad lysosomal degradation processes. Under stress conditions, including nutrient deficiency, autophagy is substantially activated to maintain proper cell function and promote cell survival. Altered autophagy processes have been reported in various aging studies, and a dysregulated autophagy is associated with various age-associated diseases. Calorie restriction (CR) is regarded as the gold standard for many aging intervention methods. Although it is clear that CR has diverse effects in counteracting aging process, the exact mechanisms by which it modulates those processes are still controversial. Recent advances in CR research have suggested that the activation of autophagy is linked to the observed beneficial anti-aging effects. Evidence showed that CR induced a robust autophagy response in various metabolic tissues, and that the inhibition of autophagy attenuated the anti-aging effects of CR. The mechanisms by which CR modulates the complex process of autophagy have been investigated in depth. In this review, several major advances related to CR’s anti-aging mechanisms and anti-aging mimetics will be discussed, focusing on the modification of the autophagy response.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited