Faces of cellular senescence in skin aging

Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Sep;198:111525. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2021.111525. Epub 2021 Jun 21.


The skin is comprised of different cell types with different proliferative capacities. Skin aging occurs with chronological age and upon exposure to extrinsic factors such as photodamage. During aging, senescent cells accumulate in different compartments of the human skin, leading to impaired skin physiology. Diverse skin cell types may respond differently to senescence-inducing stimuli and it is not clear how this results in aging-associated skin phenotypes and pathologies. This review aims to examine and provide an overview of current evidence of cellular senescence in the skin. We will focus on cellular characteristics and behaviour of different skin cell types undergoing senescence in the epidermis and dermis, with a particular focus on the complex interplay between mitochondrial dysfunction, autophagy and DNA damage pathways. We will also examine how the dermis and epidermis cope with the accumulation of DNA damage during aging.

Keywords: DNA damage response; Epidermal differentiation; Senescence; Skin aging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / pathology
  • Aging* / physiology
  • Autophagy
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Skin Aging / pathology*
  • Skin* / metabolism
  • Skin* / pathology