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Senescent inhibition to treat age related diseases

Technology Number: 


Principal Investigator



Molecular Cell Biology

Patent Status: 


Cellular senescence is a permanent cell cycle arrest induced by damage or stress applied on proliferating cells. In a cell autonomous manner, senescence is a potent barrier to tumorgenesis and contributes to the cytotoxicity of some anti-cancer drugs. However, with age senescence cells accumulate and promote a number of pathological conditions. Therefore the elimination of senescent cells is desired in order to prevent tumor- and inflammation- related pathologies and also to inhibit tissue ageing.
Today, our understanding of the mechanisms regulating the viability of senescent cells is limited. It has been suggested that senescent cells are resistant to apoptosis. Therefore, senescent cells elimination may be achieved by modifying the resistance to apoptosis of these cells.
Here the researches demonstrate the first feasible therapeutic approach that leads to eradication of senescent cells. Combination of direct induction of apoptosis in senescent cells with induction of cell death by pro-inflammatory repose induce by p21 knockdown will lead to reduction of viable senescent cells.


  • A therapeutic impact on inflammatory and fibrotic disease
  • Therapy for age-related disease such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Atherosclerosis, cataracts, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and Osteoporosis


  • Effective elimination of senescent cells- removal of senescent cells can prevent or delay tissue dysfunction and extend health span
  • Does not damage normal cells even at high concentrations

Technology's Essence

Researches demonstrated that the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Bcl-w level were elevated in senescence cells of both human and mouse origin. A subsequent study, in which Bcl-xL and Bcl-w were knocked down by siRNA, revealed that a combined knock down of Bcl-xL and Bcl-w had synergic effect, resulting in reduction of 50% in cell viability. Thus the increased level of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Bcl-w may account for the apoptotic resistance of senescent cells. p21 knockdown induced pro-inflammatory response and cell death in senescent cells.
Overall, the researchers show that combined inhibition of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Bcl-w allows specific elimination of senescent cells and might be used to treat diseases where senescent cells are present. The researchers also found that the same effect might be achieved by reducing the expression of p21 in senescent cells. Integrating both approaches propose a more effective therapy.

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