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How good is the evidence that cellular senescence causes skin ageing?

Lookup NU author(s): Evon Low, Ghazaleh Alimohammadiha, Lydia Costello, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Dr Satomi Miwa



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021. Skin is the largest organ of the body with important protective functions, which become compromised with time due to both intrinsic and extrinsic ageing processes. Cellular senescence is the primary ageing process at cell level, associated with loss of proliferative capacity, mitochondrial dysfunction and significantly altered patterns of expression and secretion of bioactive molecules. Intervention experiments have proven cell senescence as a relevant cause of ageing in many organs. In case of skin, accumulation of senescence in all major compartments with ageing is well documented and might be responsible for most, if not all, the molecular changes observed during ageing. Incorporation of senescent cells into in-vitro skin models (specifically 3D full thickness models) recapitulates changes typically associated with skin ageing. However, crucial evidence is still missing. A beneficial effect of senescent cell ablation on skin ageing has so far only been shown following rather unspecific interventions or in transgenic mouse models. We conclude that evidence for cellular senescence as a relevant cause of intrinsic skin ageing is highly suggestive but not yet completely conclusive.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Low E, Alimohammadiha G, Smith LA, Costello LF, Przyborski SA, von Zglinicki T, Miwa S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ageing Research Reviews

Year: 2021

Volume: 71

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 03/09/2021

Acceptance date: 31/08/2021

ISSN (print): 1568-1637

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9649

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101456