Oxidative stress-induced senescence markedly increases disc cell bioenergetics

Mech Ageing Dev. 2019 Jun;180:97-106. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2019.04.006. Epub 2019 Apr 17.


Cellular senescence is a phenotype characterized by irreversible growth arrest, chronic elevated secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and matrix proteases, a phenomenon known as senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Biomarkers of cellular senescence have been shown to increase with age and degeneration of human disc tissue. Senescent disc cells in culture recapitulate features associated with age-related disc degeneration, including increased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, matrix proteases, and fragmentation of matrix proteins. However, little is known of the metabolic changes that underlie the senescent phenotype of disc cells. To assess the metabolic changes, we performed a bioenergetic analysis of in vitro oxidative stress-induced senescent (SIS) human disc cells. SIS disc cells acquire SASP and exhibit significantly elevated mitochondrial content and mitochondrial ATP-linked respiration. The metabolic changes appear to be driven by the upregulated protein secretion in SIS cells as abrogation of protein synthesis using cycloheximide decreased mitochondrial ATP-linked respiration. Taken together, the results of the study suggest that the increased energy generation state supports the secretion of senescent associated proteins in SIS disc cells.

Keywords: Aging; Bioenergetics; Cellular senescence; Intervertebral disc degeneration; Matrix homeostasis; Mitochondria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / metabolism*
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxygen Consumption*