Role of cellular senescence in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis

Pei Suen Tsou*, Bo Shi, John Varga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewSystemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic rheumatic disease that is characterized by immune activation, vasculopathy and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. It has been proposed that premature onset of ageing pathways and associated senescent changes in cells contribute to the clinical and pathological features of SSc. The aim of this review is to critically review recent insights into the involvement of cellular senescence in SSc.Recent findingsCellular senescence plays a critical role in SSc pathogenesis, particularly involving endothelial cells and fibroblasts. Immunosenescence could also contribute to SSc pathogenesis by direct alteration of cellular functions or indirect promotion of defective immune surveillance. Molecular studies have shed some light on how cellular senescence contributes to fibrosis. Recent and planned proof-of-concept trials using senotherapeutics showed promising results in fibrotic diseases, including SSc.SummaryThere is increasing evidence implicating cellular senescence in SSc. The mechanisms underlying premature cellular senescence in SSc, and its potential role in pathogenesis, merit further investigation. Emerging drugs targeting senescence-related pathways might be potential therapeutic options for SSc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • cellular senescence
  • scleroderma
  • senotherapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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