Targeting cellular senescence in metabolic disease

Allyson K. Palmer, Tamar Tchkonia, James L. Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cellular senescence is a cell fate involving cell cycle arrest, resistance against apoptosis, and the development of a secretome that can be pro-inflammatory. In aging and obesity, senescent cells accumulate in many tissues, including adipose tissue, brain, kidney, pancreas, and liver. These senescent cells and their downstream effects appear to perpetuate inflammation and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of metabolic dysfunction. Senescent cells are cleared in part by the immune system, a process that is diminished in obesity and aging, likely due in part to senescence of immune cells themselves. Targeting senescent cells or their products improves metabolic function in both aging and in animal models of obesity. Novel therapeutics to target senescent cells are on the horizon and are currently being investigated in clinical trials in humans for multiple diseases. Early evidence suggests that senolytic drugs, which transiently disarm the anti-apoptotic defenses of pro-inflammatory senescent cells, are effective in causing depletion of senescent cells in humans. Senescence-targeting therapeutics, including senolytic drugs and strategies to increase immune clearance of senescent cells, hold significant promise for treating metabolic dysfunction in multiple tissues and disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101601
JournalMolecular Metabolism
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adipose
  • Aging
  • Cellular senescence
  • Obesity
  • Senolytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Targeting cellular senescence in metabolic disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this