Senescence or the loss of a cells’ ability to divide, normally functions as a tumor suppressing mechanism; however, senescent cells become “toxic” as they accumulate with age. This is because they cause stem cell aging that reduces the ability of tissue regeneration and repair which then drives chronic inflammation and oxidative stress causing further damage and dysfunction. Since chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to be the root cause of many age-related diseases,such as age-related osteoarthritis and atherosclerosis for example. Eliminating senescent cells has the potential to mitigate many age-related diseases by helping restore regenerative capacity to tissues.
In a previous blog we have talked about Senolytics using Dasatinib and Quercetin, now a second drug has been discovered by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with similar ability to remove senescent cells. ABT263 aka Navitoclax is a cancer drug that has been found to have the same ability to clear out these unwanted senescent cells an is a specific inhibitor of the anti-apoptotic proteins BCL-2 and BCL-xL which prevent the senescent cells from dying.
The press release is here.
If you are so inclined the research paper for this important work is here.