Leong PK, Chen N, Ko KM
Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China.
The mitochondrial free radical theory of ageing (MFRTA) proposes a primary role for mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the ageing process. The reductive hot spot hypothesis of mammalian ageing serves as a supplement to the MFRTA by explaining how the relatively few cells that have lost oxidative phosphorylation capacity due to mitochondrial DNA mutations can be toxic to the rest of the body and result in the development of age-related diseases. 2. Schisandrin B (SchB), which can induce both a glutathione anti-oxidant and a heat shock response via redox-sensitive signalling pathways, is a hormetic agent potentially useful for increasing the resistance of tissues to oxidative damage. The enhanced cellular/mitochondrial anti-oxidant status and heat shock response afforded by SchB can preserve the structural and functional integrity of mitochondria, suggesting a potential role for SchB in ameliorating age-related diseases. 3. Future studies will focus on investigating whether SchB can produce the hormetic response in humans.