Cellular senescence and tissue aging in vivo

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71 Scopus citations


A long-standing controversy concerns the relevance of cellular senescence, defined and observed as a cell culture phenomenon, to tissue aging in vivo. Here the evidence on this topic is reviewed. The main conclusions are as follows. First, telomere shortening, the principal known mediator of cellular senescence, occurs in many human tissues in aging. Second, it is not clear whether this results in cellular senescence or in some other cell fate (e.g., crisis). Third, rodents probably are not appropriate experimental models for these questions, because of important differences in telomere biology between rodent cells and cells from long-lived mammals (e.g., human or bovine cells). Fourth, better and more comprehensive observations on aging human tissues are needed to answer the question of the occurrence of senescent cells in tissues, and new experimental approaches are needed to elucidate the consequences of telomere shortening in tissues in aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B251-B256
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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