SMARTage – Senescence Models, Aging Research and Therapeutics
Only in recent years, we are starting to understand the causes of ageing on a cellular level. Every day, our cells are damaged. Our body invests in reparation, but sometimes the damage accumulates. Healthy cells that are irreparably damaged, can become ‘senescent’, comparable to rust on metal. These ‘rusty’ cells can chronically disrupt the function of neighbouring tissues. There is evidence that senescence removal can prolong health span in mice. In order to develop more defined anti-senescence therapies, SMARTage aims to unravel what individual types of senescence exist in humans and mice, how they contribute to individual (age related) diseases and how they can be selectively eliminated. The researchers anticipate to attenuate diseases such as heart failure, dementia and certain types of cancer, and also focus on the deterioration in cartilage, bones and muscles – the musculoskeletal system – which can eventually lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and sarcopenia.