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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

From cellular senescence to age-associated diseases: the miRNA connection

Elisabeth Schraml1 and Johannes Grillari12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biotechnology, BOKU VIBT University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

2 Evercyte GmbH, Muthgasse 18, Vienna, 1190, Austria

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Longevity & Healthspan 2012, 1:10  doi:10.1186/2046-2395-1-10

Published: 3 December 2012

Abstract

Cellular senescence has evolved from an in-vitro model system to study aging in vitro to a multifaceted phenomenon of in-vivo importance as senescent cells in vivo have been identified and their removal delays the onset of age-associated diseases in a mouse model system. From the large emerging class of non-coding RNAs, miRNAs have only recently been functionally implied in the regulatory networks that are modified during the aging process. Here we summarize examples of similarities between the differential expression of miRNAs during senescence and age-associated diseases and suggest that these similarities might emphasize the importance of senescence for the pathogenesis of age-associated diseases. Understanding such a connection on the level of miRNAs might offer valuable opportunities for designing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Keywords:
Cellular senescence; Aging; MicroRNA; Non-coding RNA; Age-related diseases; Vascular aging; Osteoporosis; Diabetes mellitus; Kidney disease; Cataract; Sarcopenia