The Role of Pathological Aging in Cardiac and Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Murtha LA., Morten M., Schuliga MJ., Mabotuwana NS., Hardy SA., Waters DW., Burgess JK., Ngo DT., Sverdlov AL., Knight DA., Boyle AJ.
Aging promotes a range of degenerative pathologies characterized by progressive losses of tissue and/or cellular function. Fibrosis is the hardening, overgrowth and scarring of various tissues characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix components. Aging is an important predisposing factor common for fibrotic heart and respiratory disease. Age-related processes such as senescence, inflammaging, autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction are interconnected biological processes that diminish the regenerative capacity of the aged heart and lung and have been shown to play a crucial role in cardiac fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This review focuses on these four processes of aging in relation to their role in fibrosis. It has long been established that the heart and lung are linked both functionally and anatomically when it comes to health and disease, with an ever-expanding aging population, the incidence of fibrotic disease and therefore the number of fibrosis-related deaths will continue to rise. There are currently no feasible therapies to treat the effects of chronic fibrosis therefore highlighting the importance of exploring the processes of aging and its role in inducing and exacerbating fibrosis of each organ. The focus of this review may help to highlight potential avenues of therapeutic exploration.