Biomarkers of cellular senescence in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Zaira Aversa, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Eva M. Carmona, Thomas A. White, Amanda A. Heeren, Sarah K. Jachim, Xu Zhang, Steven R. Cummings, Sergio E. Chiarella, Andrew H. Limper, Nathan K. LeBrasseur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cellular senescence is a cell fate in response to diverse forms of age-related damage and stress that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The associations between circulating levels of candidate senescence biomarkers and disease outcomes have not been specifically studied in IPF. In this study we assessed the circulating levels of candidate senescence biomarkers in individuals affected by IPF and controls and evaluated their ability to predict disease outcomes. Methods: We measured the plasma concentrations of 32 proteins associated with senescence in Lung Tissue Research Consortium participants and studied their relationship with the diagnosis of IPF, parameters of pulmonary and physical function, health-related quality of life, mortality, and lung tissue expression of P16, a prototypical marker of cellular senescence. A machine learning approach was used to evaluate the ability of combinatorial biomarker signatures to predict disease outcomes. Results: The circulating levels of several senescence biomarkers were significantly elevated in persons affected by IPF compared to controls. A subset of biomarkers accurately classified participants as having or not having the disease and was significantly correlated with measures of pulmonary function, health-related quality of life and, to an extent, physical function. An exploratory analysis revealed senescence biomarkers were also associated with mortality in IPF participants. Finally, the plasma concentrations of several biomarkers were associated with their expression levels in lung tissue as well as the expression of P16. Conclusions: Our results suggest that circulating levels of candidate senescence biomarkers are informative of disease status, pulmonary and physical function, and health-related quality of life. Additional studies are needed to validate the combinatorial biomarkers signatures that emerged using a machine learning approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Aging
  • Biomarkers
  • Cellular senescence
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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