Senescence in Health and Disease

Cell. 2017 Jun 1;169(6):1000-1011. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.015.


Many cellular stresses activate senescence, a persistent hyporeplicative state characterized in part by expression of the p16INK4a cell-cycle inhibitor. Senescent cell production occurs throughout life and plays beneficial roles in a variety of physiological and pathological processes including embryogenesis, wound healing, host immunity, and tumor suppression. Meanwhile, the steady accumulation of senescent cells with age also has adverse consequences. These non-proliferating cells occupy key cellular niches and elaborate pro-inflammatory cytokines, contributing to aging-related diseases and morbidity. This model suggests that the abundance of senescent cells in vivo predicts "molecular," as opposed to chronologic, age and that senescent cell clearance may mitigate aging-associated pathology.

Keywords: DNA damage; SASP; aging; cancer; cellular senescence; molecular age; p16(INK4a); senolysis; telomere; tumor suppression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Wound Healing