Evolutionary Theories of Aging and Longevity
lagavril at midway.uchicago.edu
Wed Apr 3 06:01:19 EST 2002
May I bring to your attention the following link (to the new article), that
will be active for a limited period of time only:
The following topics in this new published article may be of particular
interest to this Group:
(1) Life Extension prospects and the evolutionary theory (pages 352-353)
(2) Do long-living people have impaired fertility? (pages 350-352)
(3) Who is the author of the idea of the cell division limit? (pages 343-344)
Also here is some additional description of this new publication:
Gavrilov LA, Gavrilova NS
EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES OF AGING AND LONGEVITY
TheScientificWorldJOURNAL, 2002, 2: 339-356.
This is an introduction to the evolution of aging written for a wide
readership. Based on lectures taught by the authors at the University of
Chicago, this article provides a critical review of the most important
scientific publications on evolution of aging (104 references).
It also demonstrates that claims of impaired fecundity among long-lived
women, made by proponents of the disposable soma theory, were based on
incomplete data and, therefore, need to be reevaluated.
The purpose of this article is to provide students and researchers entering
the field of aging studies with an introduction to the evolutionary
theories of aging, as well as to orient them in the abundant modern
scientific literature on evolutionary gerontology.
The following three major evolutionary theories of aging are discussed:
1) the theory of programmed death suggested by August Weismann,
2) the mutation accumulation theory of aging suggested by Peter Medawar, and
3) the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging suggested by George Williams.
We also discuss a special case of the antagonistic pleiotropy theory, the
disposable soma theory developed by Tom Kirkwood and Robin Holliday. The
theories are compared with each other as well as with recent experimental
findings. At present the most viable evolutionary theories are the mutation
accumulation theory and the antagonistic pleiotropy theory; these theories
are not mutually exclusive, and they both may become a part of a future
unifying theory of aging.
Evolutionary theories of aging are useful because they open new
opportunities for further research by suggesting testable predictions, but
they have also been harmful in the past when they were used to impose
limitations on aging studies. At this time, the evolutionary theories of
aging are not ultimate completed theories, but rather a set of ideas that
themselves require further elaboration and validation.
This theoretical review article is written for a wide readership.
KEY WORDS: evolution, fitness, gerontology, lifespan, longevity, mortality,
mutation, reproduction, selection, senescence, survival, trade-offs,
antagonistic pleiotropy theory, disposable soma theory, evolutionary
theory, life extending mutations, life history theory, mutation
accumulation theory, natural selection, programmed death, reproductive
cost, reproductive success, single-gene mutations, theories of biological aging
Link to the full text of this article in TheScientificWorldJOURNAL is also
available through the following website:
Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov, Center on Aging
NORC/University of Chicago
1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637-2745
Fax: (773) 256-6313, Phone: (773) 256-6359
FOR MORE INFO PLEASE VISIT OUR SCIENTIFIC WEBSITE :
More information about the Ageing