Given the past few years of research results, it is becoming quite clear that wherever researchers observe inflammation and scarring in the body, senescent cells should be high on the list of suspected causes. Senescent cells are created constantly in large numbers, the normal fate for cells that become damaged or reach the end of their replicative life span. Near all quickly self-destruct, or are destroyed by the immune system, but some few manage to linger – or more, in medical conditions that create a harmful tissue environment that encourages senescence. Over time a population of lasting senescent cells contributes greatly to the progression of aging and age-related disease.
Senescent cells cause issues through the potent mix of signal molecules that they generate; even a comparatively small number can degrade the function of surrounding tissue. To pick one example, there is a good deal of evidence linking the accumulation of senescent cells to the development of fibrosis in various tissues, this being a harmful process by which tissue maintenance runs awry, disrupted by inappropriate levels of inflammation, and scar-like deposits form in place of normal, healthy structures. Targeted removal of senescent cells can help
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