Senescence-associated secretory phenotype
Senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) is a phenotype associated with senescent cells wherein those cells secrete high levels of inflammatory cytokines, immune modulators, growth factors, and proteases. SASP is one of the three main features of senescent cells, the other two features being arrested cell growth, and resistance to apoptosis.
SASP disrupts normal tissue function by producing chronic inflammation, induction of fibrosis and inhibition of stem cells. Chronic inflammation associated with aging has been termed inflammaging, although SASP may be only one of the possible causes of that condition. SASP factors induce insulin resistance.
Despite the fact that cellular senescence probably evolved as means of protecting against cancer early in life, SASP promotes the development of late-life cancers. Cancer invasiveness is promoted primarily though the actions of the SASP factors interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 8 (IL-8). In fact, SASP from senescent cells is associated with many aging-associated diseases, including not only cancer, but atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. For this reason, senolytic therapy has been proposed as a generalized treatment for these and many other diseases.
SASP can also play a beneficial role, however, by promoting wound healing. But in contrast to the persistent character of SASP in chronic inflammation, beneficial SASP in wound healing is transitory.
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