The Fountain of Youth by Targeting Senescent Cells?

Trends Mol Med. 2017 Jan;23(1):6-17. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2016.11.006.


The potential to reverse aging has long been a tantalizing thought, but has equally been considered mere utopia. Recently, the spotlights have turned to senescent cells as being a culprit for aging. Can these cells be therapeutically eliminated? When so? And is this even safe? Recent developments in the tool box to study senescence have made it possible to begin addressing these questions. It will be especially relevant to identify how senescence impairs tissue rejuvenation and to prospectively design compounds that can both target senescence and stimulate rejuvenation in a safe manner. This review argues that to fulfill this niche, cell-penetrating peptides may provide promising therapeutics. As a candidate approach, the author also highlights the potential of targeting individual FOXO signaling pathways to combat senescence and stimulate tissue rejuventaion.

Keywords: FOXO; aging; reprogramming; senescence; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / drug effects
  • Aging* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell-Penetrating Peptides / metabolism
  • Cell-Penetrating Peptides / pharmacology
  • Cellular Senescence* / drug effects
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects


  • Cell-Penetrating Peptides
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors