Does the "bystander effect" affect the rate of aging?
Shubhankar KulkarniJul 28, 2020
Can we come up with an experiment to test whether the "bystander effect" affects the rate of aging?
Continuous exposure to senescent cells induces cell senescence in intact bystander fibroblasts, spreading senescence towards their neighbors in vitro and, possibly, in vivo. The underlying mechanism of this bystander effect is probably the pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory signals (especially, reactive oxygen species) from primary senescent founder cells triggering DNA damage and premature senescence in surrounding primary cells. This may contribute to the increasing frequency of senescent cells with age and to the impact senescent cells may have upon their environment.
However, whether the bystander effect affects the rate of aging is not known.
Application: Elimination of senescent cells attenuates tissue inflammation, probably due to reduced secretion of the senescent cells, leading to suppression of the bystander effect and slowdown of damage accumulation. If the inhibition of the bystander effect reduces the rate of aging, that can be a therapeutic opportunity.
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