SAGE KE Bulletin Board

Poll:What is the strongest evidence for and against the free radical theory?

23 October 2001

Florian Muller

Hey everyone, I'd like to call your attention on a recent article from Earl Stadtman. I think it is really nice work and provides the strongest evidence yet that free radicals (oxidative damage) is a rate limiting factor towards lifespan in mammals (ref: Moskovitz J, Bar-Noy S, Williams WM, Requena J, Berlett BS, Stadtman ER. Related Articles Methionine sulfoxide reductase (MsrA) is a regulator of antioxidant defense and lifespan in mammals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Oct 23. [epub ahead of print])

This got me thinking a little bit on what the current state of affairs is for the free radical theory (in its strong version) in mammals. So this leads to the question, what is the strongest piece of evidence supporting and refuting the free radical theory of aging in mammals?

For my part I would say the most problematic piece of data is the fact that an Mn-SOD heterozygote does not have a reduced lifespan despite apprently having increased levels of oxidative damage. Regarding the strongest evidence for, I would say it is the present work by Stadtman, namely that a knockout of Methione sulfoxide reductase a signficantly decreased lifespan.

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