Drugs Targeting Mechanisms of Aging to Delay Age-Related Disease and Promote Healthspan: Proceedings of a National Institute on Aging Workshop

Sara E. Espinoza, Sundeep Khosla, Joseph A. Baur, Rafael De Cabo, Nicolas Musi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The geroscience hypothesis posits that by targeting key hallmarks of aging we may simultaneously prevent or delay several age-related diseases and thereby increase healthspan, or life span spent free of significant disease and disability. Studies are underway to examine several possible pharmacological interventions for this purpose. As part of a National Institute on Aging workshop on the development of function-promoting therapies, scientific content experts provided literature reviews and state-of-the-field assessments for the studies of senolytics, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) boosters, and metformin. Cellular senescence increases with age, and preclinical studies demonstrate that the use of senolytic drugs improves healthspan in rodents. Human studies using senolytics are in progress. NAD+ and its phosphorylated form, NADP+, play vital roles in metabolism and cellular signaling. Increasing NAD+ by supplementation with precursors including nicotinamide riboside and nicotinamide mononucleotide appears to extend healthspan in model organisms, but human studies are limited and results are mixed. Metformin is a biguanide widely used for glucose lowering, which is believed to have pleiotropic effects targeting several hallmarks of aging. Preclinical studies suggest it improves life span and healthspan, and observational studies suggest benefits for the prevention of several age-related diseases. Clinical trials are underway to examine metformin for healthspan and frailty prevention. Preclinical and emerging clinical studies suggest there is potential to improve healthspan through the use of pharmacologic agents reviewed. However, much further research is needed to demonstrate benefits and general safety for wider use, the appropriate target populations, and longer-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • Aging
  • Cellular senescence
  • Geroscience
  • Healthspan
  • Metformin
  • Nicotinamide riboside

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Drugs Targeting Mechanisms of Aging to Delay Age-Related Disease and Promote Healthspan: Proceedings of a National Institute on Aging Workshop'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this