The role of senolytics in osteoporosis and other skeletal pathologies

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The skeletal system undergoes irreversible structural deterioration with aging, leading to increased fracture risk and detrimental changes in mobility, posture, and gait. This state of low bone mass and microarchitectural changes, diagnosed as osteoporosis, affects millions of individuals worldwide and has high clinical and economic burdens. Recently, pre-clinical studies have linked the onset of age-related bone loss with an accumulation of senescent cells in the bone microenvironment. These senescent cells appear to be causal to age-related bone loss, as targeted clearance of these cells leads to improved bone mass and microarchitecture in old mice. Additionally, other pathologies leading to bone loss that result from DNA damage, such as cancer treatments, have shown improvements after clearance of senescent cells. The development of new therapies that clear senescent cells, termed “senolytics”, is currently underway and may allow for the modulation of bone loss that results from states of high senescent cell burden, such as aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111565
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Age-related bone loss
  • Cellular senescence
  • Osteocytes
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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