DOI: 10.3390/genes15010016 ISSN: 2073-4425

Biological Aging Acceleration Due to Environmental Exposures: An Exciting New Direction in Toxicogenomics Research

Sudipta Dutta, Jaclyn M. Goodrich, Dana C. Dolinoy, Douglas M. Ruden
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics

Biological clock technologies are designed to assess the acceleration of biological age (B-age) in diverse cell types, offering a distinctive opportunity in toxicogenomic research to explore the impact of environmental stressors, social challenges, and unhealthy lifestyles on health impairment. These clocks also play a role in identifying factors that can hinder aging and promote a healthy lifestyle. Over the past decade, researchers in epigenetics have developed testing methods that predict the chronological and biological age of organisms. These methods rely on assessing DNA methylation (DNAm) levels at specific CpG sites, RNA levels, and various biomolecules across multiple cell types, tissues, and entire organisms. Commonly known as ‘biological clocks’ (B-clocks), these estimators hold promise for gaining deeper insights into the pathways contributing to the development of age-related disorders. They also provide a foundation for devising biomedical or social interventions to prevent, reverse, or mitigate these disorders. This review article provides a concise overview of various epigenetic clocks and explores their susceptibility to environmental stressors.

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