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Balancing ageing: Senescent cells’ dual roles

Sep 27, 2023

Senescent cells are implicated in both the ageing process and chronic diseases, but they also help maintain tissue balance, offering avenues for therapies to foster healthy ageing.

September 2023 – Aging Cell

 

Key takeaways

 

  • Senescent cell accumulation: As we age, our bodies increasingly retain senescent cells, which are cells that have stopped dividing. These cells can secrete harmful substances that lead to tissue damage and contribute to the development of age-related diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Essential role in tissue maintenance: Despite their detrimental role in ageing, senescent cells are not purely negative. They serve critical functions in wound healing and maintaining tissue integrity by stabilising environments following injury, which prevents further cell division and potential cancer growth
  • Therapeutic clearance of senescent cells: Research suggests that selectively removing senescent cells from the body can improve healthspan. This process, known as senolytic therapy, has been shown to extend lifespan and reduce the burden of age-related ailments in animal models
  • Senescent cells as a therapeutic target: By focusing on the dual nature of senescent cells, therapies can be developed that not only suppress the harmful effects of these cells but also preserve their beneficial functions

 

Read the article at: Kuehnemann, C., and C. D. Wiley. “Senescent Cells at the Crossroads of Aging, Disease, and Tissue Homeostasis.Aging Cell, 2023, e13988. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.13988.