Intrinsic cardiac aging is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is associated with structural and functional
changes that impede cardiac responses to stress and to cardio-protective mechanisms. Although systemic insulin resistance and the associated
risk factors exacerbate cardiac aging, cardiac-specific insulin resistance without confounding systemic alterations, could prevent
cardiac aging. Thus, strategies aimed to reduce insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling in the heart prevent cardiac aging in
lower organisms and in mammals but the mechanisms underlying this protection are not fully understood. In this review, we describe the
impact of aging on the cardiovascular system and discuss the mounting evidence that reduced insulin/IGF signaling in the heart could alleviate
age-associated alterations and preserve cardiac performance.
Keywords: Insulin signaling, cardiac function, cardiac aging, mitochondria, reactive oxygen species, autophagy, fibrosis.
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