In today’s open access paper, the authors review what is known of the role of cellular senescence in the common cardiovascular and metabolic conditions of aging, with a focus on senescence in the vascular system. The accumulation of senescent cells over time is one of the root causes of aging: a process that takes place as a side-effect of the normal operation of cellular metabolism, and that produces slow decline, damage, and systems failure. Research over the past few years has directly connected the growing number of senescent cells in older individuals with age-related disease of the lungs, vascular system, joints, and most of the major organs. Removing senescent cells has been shown to extend life in mice, and partially reverse a number of age-related conditions in animal studies. Human studies have started, and will be expanding this year and next.
Senescence is a state in which cells cease to replicate, and begin to generate a range of inflammatory and other signal molecules. These cells appear to be important in embryonic development, helping to define shape and structure of tissue, and also play a transient role in regeneration from injury. All
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