Senescent cells are known for making our bodies age. It is the natural course of things, so no surprises about it. However, as everything in our organism is connected, it seems like senescent cells may be influencing much more than we previously thought. Actually, they may have a bigger role in the emergence of some diseases.
“The senescent cells accumulation in our body has a major influence in our life span – as studies in mice indicates.” Science Magazine
The good thing is that senescent cells stop reproducing, preventing us from developing cancer out of cells that are not healthy enough to replicate. Nevertheless, aging cells can still be found inside our body and linger for long periods inside our body.
This fact is extremely relevant when the subject is the accumulation of cells and other substances that may influence our body systems. Indeed, recent studies on cardiovascular diseases have pointed out that senescent cells may contribute in the development of atherosclerosis. To be more precise, researchers are trying to understand what is the role of senescent cells in plaque formation during the atherosclerosis development.
“Plaques can become lethal if they fracture and trigger blood clots, which can block arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke. In the mice that eliminated their senescent cells, Van Deursen and colleagues found, plaques carried thicker protective caps and thus were less likely to break.” Science Magazine
There are still new tests to be done before assuming the real role of aging cells in cardiovascular diseases. However, researchers seem very excited about the new point of view on atherosclerosis. The more we understand the factors involved in a particular disease, the easier it gets to interfere and regress the disease development.
If researchers are right, we could be looking at alternative ways to cure diseases as we improve the our life span.