Establishing evidence for immune surveillance of β-cell senescence

March 15, 2024
By: Stephanie Manthanarack

Cellular senescence is a programmed state of cell cycle arrest that involves a complex immunogenic secretome, eliciting immune surveillance and senescent cell clearance. Recent work has shown that a subpopulation of pancreatic β-cells becomes senescent in the context of diabetes; however, it is not known whether these cells are normally subject to immune surveillance. In this opinion article, we advance the hypothesis that immune surveillance of β-cells undergoing a senescence stress response normally limits their accumulation during aging and that the breakdown of these mechanisms is a driver of senescent β-cell accumulation in diabetes. Elucidation and therapeutic activation of immune surveillance mechanisms in the pancreas holds promise for the improvement of approaches to target stressed senescent β-cells in the treatment of diabetes.

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