Aging is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Despite a significant reduction in the mortality and morbidity rates over the last decade, the socio-economic burden of cardiovascular disease is still substantial. Consequently, there is a considerable need for alternative strategies, such as nutraceutical supplementation, that delay the functional vascular decline present in the elderly. Compromised autophagy and oxidative stress (OS) are considered major causes of the age-related endothelial dysfunction. OS reduces the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), which has been associated with hypertension, arteriosclerosis and a reduced vasodilatory response. High levels of free radicals and the low bioavailability of NO lead to a positive feedback loop of further OS, organelle damage, poor repair and endothelial dysfunction. Here we draw attention to the relationship between OS and autophagy in the aged vasculature. We have reviewed the published literature and provided arguments that support that treatment with resveratrol stimulates autophagy and thereby has the potential to restore oxidative balance in the endothelium, which indicates that treatment with resveratrol might have therapeutic potential to restore endothelial function in the elderly.
|Early online date||22 Sept 2016|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 22 Sept 2016|