What is the role of Cortisol in aging?
The decryption of the aging process is the Central theme in numerous research. German Researchers have added a piece of the puzzle to the overall picture, by analyzing the role of the stress hormone Cortisol in aging and processes in the immune system exposed, with the help of the aging process.
A Team from the University of the Saarland showed that a low level of the stress hormone Cortisol and the Protein Gilz with chronic inflammatory processes. Such inflammation, in turn, are instrumental in the aging. The results of the study were recently presented in the journal “Aging Cell”.
How the immune system ages
When people are aging, aging, the body’s own defenses. In the course of life acquired immune system shuts down and the innate nonspecific immune system is becoming overactive. This chronic inflammation, which promote many chronic diseases, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or Arthritis are the result.
“These processes are the science already known for a long time,” says pharmacy Professor Alexandra K. Kiemer from the study team. In the professional world we call these processes “Inflamm-Aging”, a portmanteau of the English terms for inflammation (inflammation), and aging (aging) is. How is it exactly to the increase in inflammation is not yet understood, but it is still sufficient. The researchers provide in the current study, the first answers to this unsolved question.
Cortisol is involved in the aging process
Often called the stress hormone called Cortisol and its inactive Form cortisone formed in the adrenal gland. The hormone is a biochemical messenger and in many metabolic processes in the body involved. This messenger is not sufficient, the result is inflammation.
“In the age of Cortisol levels in the body is lower,” adds the PhD pharmacist Jessica Hoppstädter. This shortage will be partially offset by macrophages (important immune cells), by self-produce Cortisol from inactive cortisone. But this, too, is functioning with increasing age continuously worse.
Also, macrophages, ageing
“It comes to a Macroph-Aging – so aging of macrophages”, so Hoppstädter. The immune cells are falling further and further out of balance, resulting in increased inflammatory messenger substances are released, because macrophages coordinate messengers of other immune cells and are thus involved in the extent of an inflammatory response.
The research team identified for the first time, a Protein called Gilz, which could be for this macrophage dysregulation is responsible. The research results indicate that Gilz Cortisol regulated. “Gilz is a short form for Glucocorticoid-induced leucine Zipper,” explains Professor Kiemer. The Protein seems to be on a variety of important processes in the body authoritative involved. “It may do some Good but also Bad,” concludes the research team.
What is the role of Gilz in immune system?
“It helps, in macrophages, the inflammatory response to turn off,” explains Hoppstädter. The loss of Gilz in wear with increasing age to macrophages trigger inflammation, so the hypothesis of the researchers. According to the study data, the Cortisol level decreases initially, this leads to the fact that macrophages produce less Gilz, resulting in increased inflammatory messengers are distributes. To disable experimental purposes, the researchers of the Gilz production of genetically. As a result, incurred increased inflammatory processes – which confirmed the suspicion of the Team.
Point of attack against aging discovered
According to the researchers, this process could represent a point of attack for therapies that slow the aging of the immune system or stop. The Team is already looking for drugs that increase Gilz levels in old age. “In all of this Work is basic research,” stresses Kiemer. It was a long time not a drug in sight that can stop the aging. Nevertheless, a further step to the understanding of the aging is done. (vb)
Also read: Can be stopped ageing? Faulty proteins can age faster.