Journal article

The number of p16INK4a positive cells in human skin reflects biological age

Mariette EC Waaijer, William E Parish, Barbara H Strongitharm, Diana van Heemst, Pieternella E Slagboom, Anton JM de Craen, John M Sedivy, Rudi GJ Westendorp, David A Gunn, Andrea B Maier



Cellular senescence is a defense mechanism in response to molecular damage which accumulates with aging. Correspondingly, the number of senescent cells has been reported to be greater in older than in younger subjects and furthermore associates with age-related pathologies. Inter-individual differences exist in the rate at which a person ages (biological age). Here, we studied whether younger biological age is related to fewer senescent cells in middle-aged individuals with the propensity for longevity, using p16INK4a as a marker for cellular senescence. We observed that a younger biological age associates with lower levels of p16INK4a positive cells in human skin.