Inflammaging: The link between calcium and ageing

Jul 28, 2023

Diminished mitochondrial calcium uptake in macrophages accelerates age-related inflammation, offering new insights into ageing mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets.


Key takeaways: Reduced mitochondrial calcium uptake in macrophages is a major driver of inflammaging


  • Mitochondrial calcium uptake: As individuals age, there’s a noticeable decline in the ability of macrophages, a type of immune cell, to uptake calcium in their mitochondria. This uptake is essential for various cellular functions and energy production, and its decline can impact overall cell health and efficiency
  • Inflammaging: The term “inflammaging” describes the chronic, low-grade inflammation observed in older individuals. The study links this inflammation to the reduced calcium uptake in macrophages. Chronic inflammation is associated with many age-related diseases, making this a crucial area of focus for understanding the ageing process
  • Macrophage role: Macrophages are not just generic immune cells; they reside in every organ system, acting as sentinels that monitor their environment for infections or injuries. Their central role in age-related inflammation underscores their importance in the ageing process. As these cells undergo changes with age, they can influence the health of the entire organ system, potentially leading to systemic health challenges


Reference:Seegren, P.V., Harper, L.R., Downs, T.K. et al. Reduced mitochondrial calcium uptake in macrophages is a major driver of inflammaging. Nat Aging 3, 796–812 (2023).