HUMAN AGING; EMERGING TRENDS IN BIOCHEMICAL ALTERATIONS IN THE HEART
Manoj G. Tyagi* and Kumar Raja
The cardiac muscle is unique because it contracts tirelessly throughout the life and is highly resistant to fatigue. The amazing nature of the cardiac muscle is attributed to its matrix that maintains structural and functional integrity and provides the ambient micro-environment required for mechanical, cellular and molecular activities in the heart. The aging heart has three critical elements i.e Na+K+ATPase enzyme, hypoxia inducible factors and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which are affected and heart muscle starts to become weakened and ageing process occurs causing biochemical alterations in myocytes. Cardiac matrix regulates myocyte contractility by endothelial myocyte (EM) coupling and calcium transients and also directs miRNAs required for precise regulation of continuous and synchronized beating of cardiomyocytes that is indispensible for survival. Alteration in the matrix homeostasis due to induction of MMPs, altered expression of specific miRNAs or impaired signaling for contractility of cardiomyocytes may lead to deleterious effects. This review article examines these features in the aging cardiac muscle.
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