Detection of Senescent Cells by Extracellular Markers Using a Flow Cytometry-Based Approach

  • Mohammad Althubiti
  • Salvador Macip
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1534)


Senescence is a cellular process that is thought to have prognostic and therapeutic relevance in conditions such as cancer, aging, and fibrosis. However, current protocols for identifying senescent cells in vitro and in vivo have several drawbacks. Most markers used lack sufficient specificity and false positives and negatives in common. In addition, classical staining techniques often require lengthy protocols and do not offer objective quantification. Recently, several novel markers of senescence associated with the plasma membrane have been identified. Here, we propose to take advantage of these markers to define a customizable FACS-based protocol to detect senescent cells using antibodies tagged with fluorescence dyes. This method has the advantage of being fast and allowing quantitation. Furthermore, its specificity is increased using several markers simultaneously.

Key words

Senescence Extracellular markers Antibodies Flow cytometry SA-β-Gal 



This work was supported by an MRC New Blood Fellowship and an Innovation Fellowship from the University of Leicester, as well as a Saudi Government Doctoral Scholarship (to MA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanisms of Cancer and Aging Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of LeicesterLE1 7RH, LeicesterUK
  2. 2.Cancer Research UK Leicester CentreLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineUmm Al-Qura UniversityMeccaSaudi Arabia

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