* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 20, 2016; Revision received August 30, 2016
Food restriction causes a set of physiological changes that reduce the rate of aging. At the level of an organism, these changes are initiated by a hormonal response, which in turn activates certain intracellular signaling cascades. As a result, cells increase their antioxidant capacities and decrease the risk of cancerous transformation. A number of small molecule compounds activating these signaling cascades have been described. One could expect that direct pharmacological activation of the signaling can produce a stronger antiaging effect than that achieved by the indirect hormonal stimulation. Data from the literature point to the opposite. Possibly, a problem with pharmacological activators is that they cause generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. Indeed, hyperpolarized mitochondria are known to induce oxidative stress. Such hyperpolarization could happen because of artificial activation of cellular response to caloric restriction in the absence of energy deficit. At the same time, energy deficit seems likely to be a natural consequence of the shortage of nutrients. Thus, there is a possibility that combining the pharmacological activators with compounds that decrease mitochondrial transmembrane potential, uncouplers, could be a powerful antiaging strategy.
KEY WORDS: aging, food restriction, caloric restriction, uncouplers, geroprotectors, mTOR, AMPK