Epidemiological studies indicate that certain aspects of lifestyle and genetics act as risk factors for a variety of cardiovascular disorders, including coronary disease, hypertension, heart failure and stroke.
Aging, however, appears to be the major contributor for morbidity and mortality of the impaired cardiovascular system. Growth hormone (GH) and melatonin seem to prevent cardiac aging, as they contribute to the recovery of several physiological parameters affected by age. These hormones exhibit antioxidant properties and decrease oxidative stress and apoptosis.
This paper summarizes a set of studies related to the potential role that therapy with GH and melatonin may play in the protection of the altered cardiac function due to aging, with a focus on experiments performed in our laboratory using the senescence-accelerated mouse as an aging model. In general, we observed significantly increased inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis markers in hearts from senescence-accelerated prone 10-month-old animals compared to 2-month-old controls, while anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic markers as well as endothelial nitric oxide synthase were decreased.
Senescence-accelerated resistant animals showed no significant changes with age. GH or melatonin treatment prevented the age-dependent cardiac alterations observed in the senescence-accelerated prone group. Combined administration of GH plus melatonin reduced the age-related changes in senescence-accelerated prone hearts in an additive fashion that was different to that displayed when administered alone. GH and melatonin may be potential agents for counteracting oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation in the aging heart.
Source: Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2014 May;18(2):79-88. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2014-0016.