Effects of caloric restriction on the antagonistic and integrative hallmarks of aging
Aging is a significant risk factor for cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases, which makes understanding what promotes ‘healthy brain aging’ very important. Studies suggest that caloric restriction (CR) is a non-genetic intervention that reliably extends life- and healthspan. Here, we review the CR literature related to both the subject of aging and alterations in cell cycle machinery, especially surrounding the regulation of the E2F/DP1 complex, to elucidate the cellular protection mechanisms in the brain induced via dietary applications. The alterations extending lifespan via CR appear to exert their effects by promoting survival of individual cells, downregulating cell proliferation, and inducing stem cell quiescence, which results in keeping the stem cell reserve for extreme needs. This survival instinct of cells is believed to cause some molecular adaptations for their maintenance of the system. Avoiding energy waste of proliferation machinery promotes the long term survival of the individual cells and this is due to adaptations to the limited nutrient supply in the environment. Such a protective mechanism induced by diet could be promoted via the downregulation of crucial cell cycle-related transcription activators. This review article aims to bring attention to the importance of molecular adaptations induced by diet that promote healthy brain aging. It will provide insights into alternative targets for new treatments or neuroprotective approaches against neurodegenerative pathophysiologies.