Cellular Senescence in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Curr Mol Biol Rep. 2021;7(3):31-40. doi: 10.1007/s40610-021-00145-4. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Cellular senescence (CS) is increasingly implicated in the etiology of age-related diseases. While CS can facilitate physiological processes such as tissue repair and wound healing, senescent cells also contribute to pathophysiological processes involving macromolecular damage and metabolic dysregulation that characterize multiple morbid and prevalent diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, osteoarthritis, atherosclerotic vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Preclinical studies targeting senescent cells and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) with "senotherapeutics" have demonstrated improvement in age-related morbidity associated with these disease states. Despite promising results from these preclinical trials, few human clinical trials have been conducted. A first-in-human, open-label, pilot study of the senolytic combination of dasatinib and quercetin (DQ) in patients with IPF showed improved physical function and mobility. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of cellular senescence, its role in age-associated diseases, with a specific focus on IPF, and potential for senotherapeutics in the treatment of fibrotic lung diseases.

Keywords: Cellular senescence; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Senolytics; Senomorphics.

Publication types

  • Review