Heterogeneous accumulation of senescent cells expressing the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) affects tissue homeostasis which leads to diseases, such as osteoarthritis (OA). In this study, we set out to characterize heterogeneity of cellular senescence within aged articular cartilage and explored the presence of corresponding metabolic profiles in blood that could function as representative biomarkers. Hereto, we set out to perform cluster analyses, using a gene-set of 131 senescence genes (Nā€‰=ā€‰57) in a previously established RNA sequencing dataset of aged articular cartilage and a generated metabolic dataset in overlapping blood samples. Using unsupervised hierarchical clustering and pathway analysis, we identified two robust cellular senescent endotypes. Endotype-1 was enriched for cell proliferating pathways, expressing forkhead box protein O4 (FOXO4), RB transcriptional corepressor like 2 (RBL2), and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (CDKN1B); the FOXO mediated cell cycle was identified as possible target for endotype-1 patients. Endotype-2 showed enriched inflammation-associated pathways, expressed by interleukin 6 (IL6), matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)1/3, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)C and SASP pathways were identified as possible targets for endotype-2 patients. Notably, plasma-based metabolic profiles in overlapping blood samples (Nā€‰=ā€‰21) showed two corresponding metabolic clusters in blood. These non-invasive metabolic profiles could function as biomarkers for patient-tailored targeting of senescence in OA.

Overview publication

TitleIdentified senescence endotypes in aged cartilage are reflected in the blood metabolome
DateNovember 14th, 2023
Issue nameGeroScience
Issue numberdoi:10.1007/s11357-023-01001-2
AuthorsBoone I, Tuerlings M, Coutinho de Almeida R, Lehmann J, Ramos Y, Nelissen R, Slagboom E, de Keizer P & Meulenbelt I
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CategoryST1, ST4