Functional role of cellular senescence in biliary injury

Am J Pathol. 2015 Mar;185(3):602-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.10.027. Epub 2015 Jan 22.


Cellular senescence is a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest that has been involved in many gastrointestinal diseases, including human cholestatic liver disorders. Senescence may play a role in biliary atresia, primary sclerosing cholangitis, cellular rejection, and primary biliary cirrhosis, four liver diseases affecting cholangiocytes and the biliary system. In this review, we examine proposed mechanisms of senescence-related biliary diseases, including hypotheses associated with the senescence-associated phenotype, induction of senescence in nearby cells, and the depletion of stem cell subpopulations. Current evidence for the molecular mechanisms of senescence in the previously mentioned diseases is discussed in detail, with attention to recent advances on the role of pathways associated with senescence-associated phenotype, stress-induced senescence, telomere dysfunction, and autophagy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy
  • Biliary Atresia / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / pathology*