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Burton, D. G. A. (2)
Faragher, R. G. A. (1)
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Cellular senescence: from growth arrest to immunogenic conversion
Faragher, R. G. A.
Cellular senescence was first reported in human fibroblasts as a state of stable in vitro growth arrest following extended culture. Since that initial observation, a variety of other phenotypic characteristics have been shown to co-associate with irreversible cell cycle exit in senescent fibroblasts. These include (1) a pro-inflammatory secretory response, (2) the up-regulation of immune ligands, (3) altered responses to apoptotic stimuli and (4) promiscuous gene expression (stochastic activation of genes possibly as a result of chromatin remodeling). Many features associated with senescent fibroblasts appear to promote conversion to an immunogenic phenotype that facilitates self-elimination by the immune system. Pro-inflammatory cytokines can attract and activate immune cells, the presentation of membrane bound immune ligands allows for specific recognition and promiscuous gene expression may function to generate an array of tissue restricted proteins that could subsequently be processed into peptides for presentation via MHC molecules. However, the phenotypes of senescent cells from different tissues and species are often assumed to be broadly similar to those seen in senescent human fibroblasts, but the data show a more complex picture in which the growth arrest mechanism, tissue of origin and species can all radically modulate this basic pattern. Furthermore, well-established triggers of cell senescence are often associated with a DNA damage response (DDR), but this may not be a universal feature of senescent cells. As such, we discuss the role of DNA damage in regulating an immunogenic response in senescent cells, in addition to discussing less established “atypical” senescent states that may occur independent of DNA damage.
Immunogenic; Senescence; Immune surveillance; Apoptosis resistance; Secretome; NKG2D
Cellular senescence, ageing and disease
Cellular senescence is the irreversible growth arrest of individual mitotic cells, which as a consequence display a radically altered phenotype that is thought to impair tissue function and predispose tissues to disease development and/or progression as they gradually accumulate. However, in the past, research into mechanisms of ageing has commonly been researched and treated separately from disease development. This may partly be due to the lack of understanding concerning mechanisms of ageing and the difficulty in implementing what was known into models of disease development. Only in the last 10 years, with increasing knowledge of the senescent phenotype and the ability to detect senescent cells in human tissues, have biologists been able to investigate the relationship between cellular senescence and disease. This review therefore brings together and discusses recent findings which suggest that cellular senescence does contribute to ageing and the development/progression of disease.
Ageing; Disease; Cellular senescence; Senescent phenotype
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