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Delay of endothelial cell senescence protects cerebral barrier against age-related dysfunction: role of senolytics and senomorphics

Ya, Jingyuan; Reskiawan, Rais; Kadir, Rais Reskiawan A.; Bayraktutan, Ulvi


Jingyuan Ya

Rais Reskiawan

Rais Reskiawan A. Kadir


Accumulation of senescent cells in cerebrovasculature is thought to play an important role in age-related disruption of blood–brain barrier (BBB). Using an in vitro model of human BBB, composed of brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), astrocytes and pericytes, this study explored the so-called correlative link between BMEC senescence and the BBB dysfunction in the absence or presence of functionally distinct senotherapeutics. Replicative senescence was deemed present at passage ≥19 where BMECs displayed shortened telomere length, reduced proliferative and tubulogenic potentials and increased NADPH oxidase activity, superoxide anion production (markers of oxidative stress), S-β-galactosidase activity and γ-H2AX staining. Significant impairments observed in integrity and function of a model of BBB established with senescent BMECs, ascertained successively by decreases in transendothelial electrical resistance and increases in paracellular flux, revealed a close correlation between endothelial cell senescence and BBB dysfunction. Disruptions in the localization or expression of tight junction proteins, zonula occludens-1, occludin, and claudin-5 in senescent BMECs somewhat explained this dysfunction. Indeed, treatment of relatively old BMEC (passage 16) with a cocktail of senolytics (dasatinib and quercetin) or senomorphics targeting transcription factor NF-κB (QNZ), p38MAPK signaling pathway (BIRB-796) or pro-oxidant enzyme NADPH oxidase (VAS2870) until passage 20 rendered these cells more resistant to senescence and totally preserved BBB characteristics by restoring subcellular localization and expression of tight junction proteins. In conclusion, attempts that effectively mitigate accumulation of senescent endothelial cells in cerebrovasculature may prevent age-related BBB dysfunction and may be of prophylactic or therapeutic value to extend lifelong health and wellbeing.


Ya, J., Reskiawan, R., Kadir, R. R. A., & Bayraktutan, U. (2022). Delay of endothelial cell senescence protects cerebral barrier against age-related dysfunction: role of senolytics and senomorphics. Tissue Barriers,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 26, 2022
Publication Date Jul 26, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2023
Journal Tissue Barriers
Print ISSN 2168-8362
Electronic ISSN 2168-8370
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cell Biology; Histology; Biochemistry
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tissue Barriers on 26th July, available at: