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Due to the advent of antiretroviral therapy HIV is no longer a terminal disease and the HIV infected patients are becoming increasingly older. While this is a major success, with increasing age comes an increased risk for disease. The age-related comorbidities that HIV infected patients experience suggest that they suffer from accelerated aging. One possible contributor to this accelerated aging is cellular senescence, an age-associated response that can occur prematurely in response to stress, and that is emerging as a contributor to disease and aging. HIV patients experience several stressors such as the virus itself, antiretroviral drugs and to a lesser extent, substance abuse that can induce cellular senescence. This review summarizes the current knowledge of senescence induction in response to these stressors and their relation to the comorbidities in HIV patients. Cellular senescence may be a possible therapeutic target for these comorbidities. Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Alteration of seasonal phenology cues due to climate change has led to changes in the onset and duration of the growing season. While photoperiod often acts as an ultimate control on phenological events, recent studies have shown that environmental cues such as temperature and soil water content can modify the direction and rate of senescence processes. Warmer temperatures have resulted in an observed trend towards delayed senescence across temperate latitudes. However, Arctic regions are characterized by extreme seasonality and rapidly decreasing photoperiod, and consequently senescence may not shift as climate warms. We monitored the timing of Arctic plant community senescence for three years under the framework of an experimental manipulation that altered seasonal phenological cues through warming and earlier snowmelt. Alternative models of senescence were tested to determine if microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture) or start of season phenology affect the timing and rate of community senescence. We found that all three microclimate predictors contributed to explaining variation in timing of senescence, suggesting that photoperiod is not the sole control on timing of senescence in Arctic plant communities. Rather, increased air and soil temperatures along with drier soil conditions, led to acceleration in the onset of senescence at a community level. Our data suggest that (1) multiple climate drivers predict timing of plant community senescence, and (2) climate change could result in a shorter peak season due to earlier onset of senescence, which would decrease the potential carbon uptake in moist acidic tundra.
Aging greatly increases the risk for intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) as a result of proteoglycan loss due to reduced synthesis and enhanced degradation of the disc matrix proteoglycan (PG). How disc matrix PG homeostasis becomes perturbed with age is not known. The goal of this study is to determine whether cellular senescence is a source of this perturbation. We demonstrated that disc cellular senescence is dramatically increased in the DNA repair-deficient Ercc1 -/Δ mouse model of human progeria. In these accelerated aging mice, increased disc cellular senescence is closely associated with the rapid loss of disc PG. We also directly examine PG homeostasis in oxidative damage-induced senescent human cells using an in vitro cell culture model system. Senescence of human disc cells treated with hydrogen peroxide was confirmed by growth arrest, senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, γH2AX foci, and acquisition of senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Senescent human disc cells also exhibited perturbed matrix PG homeostasis as evidenced by their decreased capacity to synthesize new matrix PG and enhanced degradation of aggrecan, a major matrix PG. of the disc. Our in vivo and in vitro findings altogether suggest that disc cellular senescence is an important driver of PG matrix homeostatic perturbation and PG loss. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Climate warming is substantially shifting the leaf phenological events of plants, and thereby impacting on their individual fitness and also on the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Previous studies have largely focused on the climate impact on spring phenology, and to date the processes underlying leaf senescence and their associated environmental drivers remain poorly understood. In this study, experiments with temperature gradients imposed during the summer and autumn were conducted on saplings of European beech to explore the temperature responses of leaf senescence. An additional warming experiment during winter enabled us to assess the differences in temperature responses of spring leaf-out and autumn leaf senescence. We found that warming significantly delayed the dates of leaf senescence both during summer and autumn warming, with similar temperature sensitivities (6-8 days delay per C warming), suggesting that, in the absence of water and nutrient limitation, temperature may be a dominant factor controlling the leaf senescence in European beech. Interestingly, we found a significantly larger temperature response of autumn leaf senescence than of spring leaf-out. This suggests a possible larger contribution of delays in autumn senescence, than of the advancement in spring leaf-out, to extending the growing season under future warmer conditions. 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.