Aryl hydrocarbon receptor: Linking environment to aging process in elderly patients with asthma

Tianrui Yang, Rongjun Wan, Wei Tu, Sai Nithin Avvaru, Peisong Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Aging is a significant risk factor for various diseases, including asthma, and it often leads to poorer clinical outcomes, particularly in elderly individuals. It is recognized that age-related diseases are due to a time-dependent accumulation of cellular damage, resulting in a progressive decline in cellular and physiological functions and an increased susceptibility to chronic diseases. The effects of aging affect not only the elderly but also those of younger ages, posing significant challenges to global healthcare. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with aging in different diseases is essential. One intriguing factor is the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which serves as a cytoplasmic receptor and ligand-activated transcription factor and has been linked to the aging process. Here, we review the literature on several major hallmarks of aging, including mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, autophagy, mitophagy, epigenetic alterations, and microbiome disturbances. Moreover, we provide an overview of the impact of AhR on these hallmarks by mediating responses to environmental exposures, particularly in relation to the immune system. Furthermore, we explore how aging hallmarks affect clinical characteristics, inflammatory features, exacerbations, and the treatment of asthma. It is suggested that AhR signaling may potentially play a role in regulating asthma phenotypes in elderly populations as part of the aging process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-393
Number of pages12
JournalChinese medical journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 20 2024


  • Aging
  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Asthma
  • Environment
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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