Senescent cells as promising targets to tackle age-related diseases

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Mar;66:101251. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2020.101251. Epub 2020 Dec 29.


As the world's population progressively ages, the burden on the socio-economic and health systems is escalating, demanding sustainable and lasting solutions. Cellular senescence, one of the hallmarks of ageing, is a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest that occurs in response to various genotoxic stressors and is considered an important factor in the development of many age-related diseases and therefore a potential therapeutic target. Here, the role of senescent cells in age-related diseases is discussed, focusing on their formation and main characteristics. The mechanisms leading to senescent cells are presented, including replicative and premature senescence as well as senescence that occurs in various physiological processes, such as wound healing. The second part comprises a comprehensive description of various biomarkers currently used for the detection of senescent cells along with the investigated therapeutic approaches, namely senolytics, senomorphics and the clearance of senescent cells by the immune system. Potential delivery systems suitable for such therapies and model organisms to study senescence are also briefly examined. This in-depth overview of cellular senescence contributes to a deeper understanding of a rapidly evolving area aimed to tackle the age-related diseases in a more mechanistic way, as well as highlights future research opportunities.

Keywords: Age-related diseases; Antiaging research; Biomarkers; Senescent cells; Senolytics; Senomorphics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • DNA Damage*
  • Immune System


  • Biomarkers