Cellular senescence, ageing and disease
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Cellular senescence is the irreversible growth arrest of individual mitotic cells, which as a consequence display a radically altered phenotype that is thought to impair tissue function and predispose tissues to disease development and/or progression as they gradually accumulate. However, in the past, research into mechanisms of ageing has commonly been researched and treated separately from disease development. This may partly be due to the lack of understanding concerning mechanisms of ageing and the difficulty in implementing what was known into models of disease development. Only in the last 10 years, with increasing knowledge of the senescent phenotype and the ability to detect senescent cells in human tissues, have biologists been able to investigate the relationship between cellular senescence and disease. This review therefore brings together and discusses recent findings which suggest that cellular senescence does contribute to ageing and the development/progression of disease.