The role of senescence in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation: A target process for health improvement and drug development

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Aug;69:101363. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101363. Epub 2021 May 21.


Cellular senescence is a state of growth arrest that occurs after cells encounter various stresses. Senescence contributes to tumour suppression, embryonic development, and wound healing. It impacts on the pathology of various diseases by secreting inflammatory chemokines, immune modulators and other bioactive factors. These secretory biosignatures ultimately cause inflammation, tissue fibrosis, immunosenescence and many ageing-related diseases such as atrial fibrillation (AF). Because the molecular mechanisms underpinning AF development remain unclear, current treatments are suboptimal and have serious side effects. In this review, we summarize recent results describing the role of senescence in AF. We propose that senescence factors induce AF and have a causative role. Hence, targeting senescence and its secretory phenotype may attenuate AF.

Keywords: Ageing; Atrial fibrillation; Atrial fibrosis; Senescence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / drug therapy
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Drug Development
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Immunosenescence*