Context With the aging of the population and projected increase in osteoporotic fractures coupled with the declining use of osteoporosis medications, there is a compelling need for new approaches to treat osteoporosis. Given that age-related osteoporosis generally coexists with multiple other comorbidities (e.g., atherosclerosis, diabetes, frailty) that share aging as the leading risk factor, there is growing interest in the "Geroscience Hypothesis," which posits that manipulation of fundamental aging mechanisms will delay the appearance or severity of multiple chronic diseases because these diseases share aging as the underlying risk factor. In this context, one fundamental aging mechanism that has received considerable attention recently as contributing to multiple age-related morbidities is cellular senescence. This mini-review provides an overview on cellular senescence with a focus on its role in mediating age-related bone loss. Methods This summary is based on the authors' knowledge of the field supplemented by a PubMed search using the terms "senescence," "aging," and "bone." Results There is compelling evidence from preclinical models and supportive human data demonstrating an increase in senescent cells in the bone microenvironment with aging. These cells produce a proinflammatory secretome that leads to increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, and approaches that either eliminate senescent cells or impair the production of their proinflammatory secretome have been shown to prevent age-related bone loss in mice. Conclusions Targeting cellular senescence represents a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent not only bone loss but potentially multiple age-related diseases simultaneously.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical