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Int J Mol Sci ; 23(20)2022 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071511


Caloric restriction promotes longevity in multiple animal models. Compounds modulating nutrient-sensing pathways have been suggested to reproduce part of the beneficial effect of caloric restriction on aging. However, none of the commonly studied caloric restriction mimetics actually produce a decrease in calories. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2-i) are a class of drugs which lower glucose by promoting its elimination through urine, thus inducing a net loss of calories. This effect promotes a metabolic shift at the systemic level, fostering ketones and fatty acids utilization as glucose-alternative substrates, and is accompanied by a modulation of major nutrient-sensing pathways held to drive aging, e.g., mTOR and the inflammasome, overall resembling major features of caloric restriction. In addition, preliminary experimental data suggest that SGLT-2i might also have intrinsic activities independent of their systemic effects, such as the inhibition of cellular senescence. Consistently, evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies have also suggested a marked ability of SGLT-2i to ameliorate low-grade inflammation in humans, a relevant driver of aging commonly referred to as inflammaging. Considering also the amount of data from clinical trials, observational studies, and meta-analyses suggesting a tangible effect on age-related outcomes, such as cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, kidney disease, and all-cause mortality also in patients without diabetes, here we propose a framework where at least part of the benefit provided by SGLT-2i is mediated by their ability to blunt the drivers of aging. To support this postulate, we synthesize available data relative to the effect of this class on: 1- animal models of healthspan and lifespan; 2- selected molecular pillars of aging in preclinical models; 3- biomarkers of aging and especially inflammaging in humans; and 4- COVID-19-related outcomes. The burden of evidence might prompt the design of studies testing the potential employment of this class as anti-aging drugs.

COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors , Animals , Humans , Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors/pharmacology , Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 , Hypoglycemic Agents/pharmacology , Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammasomes , Drug Repositioning , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy , Aging , Glucose/therapeutic use , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases , Sodium , Ketones/therapeutic use , Fatty Acids/therapeutic use