Senolytic agents lessen the severity of abdominal aortic aneurysm in aged mice

Mojtaba Parvizi, Federico Franchi, Bonnie K. Arendt, Sanam Ebtehaj, Martin Rodriguez-Porcel, Ian R. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age is a major risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), for which treatment options are limited to surgical intervention for large AAA and watchful waiting for small aneurysms. However, the factors that regulate the expansion of aneurysms are unclear. Development of new therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat small aneurysms awaits a more thorough understanding of the etiology of AAA formation and progression with aging. A variety of structural and functional changes have been reported in aging vasculature, but emerging evidence implicates senescent cells in the formation of AAA through their paracrine effects on vascular wall cell populations. Here we show that aging is associated with transcriptional changes in abdominal aortic tissue consistent with loss of smooth muscle cells, leukocyte adhesion, inflammation, and accumulation of senescent cells in the vascular wall and surrounding perivascular adipose tissue. Furthermore, aged mice demonstrated anatomical and histopathological features of AAA development in response to administration of angiotensin II over 28 days. Importantly, in our study we sought to determine if reducing senescent cells could lessen the severity of AAA in aged mice. We find that pretreatment of aged mice with oral senolytic agents (dasatinib + quercetin) reduced senescent cell abundance in the arterial walls and surrounding tissues and lessened the severity of AAA in response to angiotensin II administration. These data provide important preliminary evidence supporting a role of senescent cells in age-related AAA formation and progression and suggest that strategies to reduce senescent cell burden hold promise to lessen AAA severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111416
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Aging
  • Angiotensin II
  • Senescence
  • Senolytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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