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    Cellular senescence causes irreversible growth arrest of cells. Prolonged accumulation of senescent cells in tissues leads to increased detrimental effects due to senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Recent findings suggest that elimination of senescent cells has a beneficial effect on organismal aging and lifespan. In this study, using a validated replicative senescent human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) model, we showed that elimination of senescent cells is possible through the activation of an apoptotic mechanism. We have shown in this replicative senescence model, that cell senescence is associated with DNA damage and cell cycle arrest (p21, p53 markers). We have shown that Silybum marianum flower extract (SMFE) is a safe and selective senolytic agent targeting only senescent cells. The elimination of the cells is induced through the activation of apoptotic pathway confirmed by annexin V/propidium iodide and caspase-3/PARP staining. Moreover, SMFE suppresses the expression of SASP factors such as IL-6 and MMP-1 in senescent HDFs. In a co-culture model of senescent and young fibroblasts, we demonstrated that senescent cells impaired the proliferative capacities of young cells. Interestingly, when the co-culture is treated with SMFE, the cell proliferation rate of young cells is increased due to the decrease of the senescent burden. Moreover, we demonstrated in vitro that senescent fibroblasts trigger senescent process in normal keratinocytes through a paracrine effect. Indeed, the conditioned medium of senescent HDFs treated with SMFE reduced the level of senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal), p16INK4A and SASP factors in keratinocytes compared with CM of senescent HDFs. These results indicate that SMFE can prevent premature aging due to senescence and even reprograms aged skin. Indeed, thanks to its senolytic and senomorphic properties SMFE is a candidate for anti-senescence strategies.


    Jieun Woo, Seoungwoo Shin, Eunae Cho, Dehun Ryu, David Garandeau, Hanane Chajra, Mathilde Fréchet, Deokhoon Park, Eunsun Jung. Senotherapeutic-like effect of Silybum marianum flower extract revealed on human skin cells. PloS one. 2021;16(12):e0260545

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    PMID: 34914725

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