Cellular senescence in lymphoid organs and immunosenescence

Vivekananda Budamagunta, Thomas C. Foster, Daohong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Immunosenescence is a multi-faceted phenomenon at the root of age-associated immune dysfunction. It can lead to an array of pathological conditions, including but not limited to a decreased capability to surveil and clear senescent cells (SnCs) and cancerous cells, an increased autoimmune response leading to tissue damage, a reduced ability to tackle pathogens, and a decreased competence to illicit a robust response to vaccination. Cellular senescence is a phenomenon by which oncogene-activated, stressed or damaged cells undergo a stable cell cycle arrest. Failure to efficiently clear SnCs results in their accumulation in an organism as it ages. SnCs actively secrete a myriad of molecules, collectively called senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which are factors that cause dysfunction in the neighboring tissue. Though both cellular senescence and immunosenescence have been studied extensively and implicated in various pathologies, their relationship has not been greatly explored. In the wake of an ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) that disproportionately affects the elderly, immunosenescence as a function of age has become a topic of great importance. The goal of this review is to explore the role of cellular senescence in age-associated lymphoid organ dysfunction and immunosenescence, and provide a framework to explore therapies to rejuvenate the aged immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19920-19941
Number of pages22
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cellular senescence
  • immune senescence
  • immunosenescence
  • senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP)
  • thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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