Cellular senescence: at the nexus between ageing and diabetes

Diabetologia. 2019 Oct;62(10):1835-1841. doi: 10.1007/s00125-019-4934-x. Epub 2019 Aug 27.


Ageing and diabetes lead to similar organ dysfunction that is driven by parallel molecular mechanisms, one of which is cellular senescence. The abundance of senescent cells in various tissues increases with age, obesity and diabetes. Senescent cells have been directly implicated in the generation of insulin resistance. Recently, drugs that preferentially target senescent cells, known as senolytics, have been described and recently entered clinical trials. In this review, we explore the biological links between ageing and diabetes, specifically focusing on cellular senescence. We summarise the current data on cellular senescence in key target tissues associated with the development and clinical phenotypes of type 2 diabetes and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting cellular senescence in diabetes.

Keywords: Ageing; Cellular senescence; Dasatinib; Diabetes; Geroscience; Life course development; Quercetin; Review; Senolytics; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Humans