Chronic inflammation is an important component of degenerative aging. Excessive inflammatory signaling and activation of the immune system arises due to a combination of many factors, of which some are more important than others, such as the presence of lingering senescent cells. Most of the research focused on controlling inflammation is more interested in sabotaging the mechanisms of control than in removing root causes, however. The work here is an example of the type, in which scientists identify an important feature of the regulatory system controlling inflammation. Forcing a sizable reduction of inflammation via this regulatory system is a fairly blunt tool, as some degree of transient inflammation is vital to health, such as in the response to infection or injury. Nonetheless, the benefits may be large enough to outweigh the side-effects, as is the case for a number of past approaches to limiting inflammation in, for example, the treatment of autoimmune conditions.
Chronic inflammation, which results when old age, stress, or environmental toxins keep the body’s immune system in overdrive, can contribute to a variety of devastating diseases, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to diabetes and cancer. Researchers now show that a bulky
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