Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 8 February 2006
Vol. 2006, Issue 5, p. or4


Cellular Senescence in Aging Primates

Utz Herbig, Mark Ferreira, Laura Condel, Dee Carey, and John M. Sedivy

Abstract: Science 2 February 2006 (10.1126/science.1122446) (Science Express Brevia)

Aging of organisms is characterized by a gradual functional decline of all organ systems. Mammalian somatic cells in culture display a limited proliferative life span, at the end of which they undergo an irreversible cell cycle arrest known as replicative senescence. Whether cellular senescence contributes to organismal aging has been controversial. We investigated telomere dysfunction, a recently discovered biomarker of cellular senescence, and found that the number of senescent fibroblasts increases exponentially in the skin of aging baboons, reaching values of >15% in very old individuals. In addition, the same cells contain activated ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase and heterochromatinized nuclei, confirming their senescent status.


Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150