Autophagy Versus Cholesterol

Chris Patil of Ouroboros adds some pertinent thoughts to a recent Fight Aging! post on macroautophagy research: "stimulation of one autophagic pathway can reduce plasma lipoproteins and triglycerides ... Is the decrease in blood lipids a consequence of every cell in the body upregulating autophagy and therefore needing more cholesterol and triglycerides in order to rebuild membrane-bound organelles, or is this a consequence of the drug acting mainly on specific tissues/organs? ... Is there a down side? I'm wondering whether the effects of accelerating macroautophagy will be uniformly beneficial to all cell types. I'm especially concerned with respect to cognitive function: In worm and fly, age-related neuronal death is mediated by autophagy and there's building evidence that the same is true in mammals. (This makes sense: Cellular homeostasis is a balance between creation of new components and destruction of old ones; one can easily imagine a delicate and finicky cell like a neuron losing control of this balance if the rate of degradation were to suddenly rise)." On the other hand, wouldn't calorie restriction cause issues due to its boost to autophagy if that were the case? We'd all like to see life span studies in mice, I think.



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