Researchers at UCSF have developed a method to selectively clear senescent cells by stimulating an immune response. Accumulation of senescent cells underlies a number of disease conditions and age-related pathologies. Current approaches to clear this cell type use senolytics, these are small-molecules that induce cell death of the senescent cells. Unfortunately, these compounds are not truly specific and affect other non-pathogenic cells. UCSF researchers eliminate these off-target effects by utilizing the body’s immune system to selectively target senescent cells for clearance. They do this by activation and expansion of certain immune cells. Stimulating the immune system to clear these cells is unprecedented in the field and offers a new therapeutic modality to treat senescence associated conditions. The technology has been fully validated in a laboratory setting.
aging, senescence, immune cells