The female reproduction and senescence nexus

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2017 May;77(5). doi: 10.1111/aji.12646. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


Successful pregnancy is regulated by several soluble factors that are differentially expressed throughout gestation. These factors are important to initiate and establish embryo implantation and parturition. Senescent cells, which undergo permanent cell proliferation arrest in response to stress, also produce several secreted factors, referred to as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Here, we review some of the secreted factors found during early and late pregnancy and compare their expression profile with those of the SASP. Because senescent cells are found in the uterus and embryo during pregnancy, we hypothesize that SASP factors contribute to successful pregnancy. We discuss how senescent cells may support embryo development and signal parturition. We provide evidences for potential contribution of SASP to the physiology and pathophysiology of pregnancy.

Keywords: cellular senescence; cytokines; inflammation; labor; parturition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parturition / metabolism
  • Pregnancy / physiology*