Cellular senescence, DNA damage, and neuroinflammation in the aging brain

Trends Neurosci. 2024 Jun;47(6):461-474. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2024.04.003. Epub 2024 May 9.


Aging may lead to low-level chronic inflammation that increases the susceptibility to age-related conditions, including memory impairment and progressive loss of brain volume. As brain health is essential to promoting healthspan and lifespan, it is vital to understand age-related changes in the immune system and central nervous system (CNS) that drive normal brain aging. However, the relative importance, mechanistic interrelationships, and hierarchical order of such changes and their impact on normal brain aging remain to be clarified. Here, we synthesize accumulating evidence that age-related DNA damage and cellular senescence in the immune system and CNS contribute to the escalation of neuroinflammation and cognitive decline during normal brain aging. Targeting cellular senescence and immune modulation may provide a logical rationale for developing new treatment options to restore immune homeostasis and counteract age-related brain dysfunction and diseases.

Keywords: brain aging; brain barriers; immunity; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain* / pathology
  • Cellular Senescence* / physiology
  • DNA Damage* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases* / immunology