A look at the role of elastin and its degeneration in aging: "The ability of elastic tissues to deform under physiological forces and to subsequently release stored energy to drive passive recoil is vital to the function of many dynamic tissues. ... elastic fibres allow arteries and lungs to expand and contract, thus controlling variations in blood pressure and returning the pulmonary system to a resting state. Elastic fibres are composite structures composed of a cross-linked elastin core and an outer layer of fibrillin microfibrils. These two components perform distinct roles; elastin stores energy and drives passive recoil, whilst fibrillin microfibrils direct [creation of elastin], mediate cell signalling, maintain tissue homeostasis [and] potentially act to reinforce the elastic fibre. In many tissues reduced elasticity, as a result of compromised elastic fibre function, becomes increasingly prevalent with age and contributes significantly to the burden of human morbidity and mortality. ... As compromised elasticity is a common feature of ageing dynamic tissues, the development of strategies to prevent, limit or reverse this loss of function will play a key role in reducing age-related morbidity and mortality."