Consequences Of Cellular Senescence And Cell Death

Cellular senescence and cell death may play a role in aging or age-related pathology by two distinct means. First, because both processes are important for suppressing cancer, they are longevity-assurance mechanisms: mechanisms that postpone the onset of aging phenotypes or age-related disease; in this case, cancer. On the other hand, as dysfunctional senescent cells accumulate in renewable tissues, and apoptosis depletes cells from postmitotic tissues, both processes may contribute to aging phenotypes. This apparent paradox—the ability to be beneficial early in life, but detrimental late in life—is consistent with the evolutionary theory of antagonistic pleiotropy, as discussed earlier in Chapter 5. What is the evidence that cellular senescence and cell death both suppress cancer and contribute to aging?

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