The genetics of exceptional longevity identifies new druggable targets forvascular protection and repair

Annibale A Puca, Gaia Spinetti, Rosa Vono, Carmine Vecchione, Paolo R Madeddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
440 Downloads (Pure)


Therapeutic angiogenesis is a relatively new medical strategy in the field of cardiovascular diseases. The underpinning concept is that angiogenic growth factors or proangiogenic cells could be exploited therapeutically in cardiovascular patients to enhance native revascularization responses to an ischemic insult, thereby accelerating tissue healing. The initial enthusiasm generated by preclinical studies has been tempered by the modest success of clinical trials assessing therapeutic angiogenesis. Similarly, proangiogenic cell therapy has so far not maintained the original promises. Intriguingly, the current trend is to consider regeneration as a prerogative of the youngest organism. Consequentially, the embryonic and foetal models are attracting much attention for clinical translation into corrective modalities in the adulthood. Scientists seem to undervalue the lesson from Mother Nature, e.g. all humans are born young but very few achieve the goal of an exceptional healthy longevity. Either natural experimentation is driven by a supreme intelligence or stochastic phenomena, one has to accept the evidence that healthy longevity is the fruit of an evolutionary process lasting million years. It is therefore extremely likely that results of this natural experimentation are more reliable and translatable than the intensive, but very short human investigation on mechanisms governing repair and regeneration. With this preamble in mind, here we propose to shift the focus from the very beginning to the very end of human life and thus capture the secret of prolonged health span to improve well-being in the adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacological Research
Early online date3 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Angiogenesis
  • Ischemia
  • Aging
  • Genome-Wide-Association-Studies
  • Nitric oxide


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