The number of p16INK4a positive cells in human skin reflects biological age

Mariëtte E.C. Waaijer, William E. Parish, Barbara H. Strongitharm, Diana van Heemst, Pieternella E. Slagboom, Anton J.M. de Craen, John M. Sedivy, Rudi G.J. Westendorp, David A. Gunn, Andrea B. Maier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cellular senescence is a defense mechanism in response to molecular damage which accumulates with aging. Correspondingly, the number of senescent cells has been reported to be greater in older than in younger subjects and furthermore associates with age-related pathologies. Inter-individual differences exist in the rate at which a person ages (biological age). Here, we studied whether younger biological age is related to fewer senescent cells in middle-aged individuals with the propensity for longevity, using p16INK4a as a marker for cellular senescence. We observed that a younger biological age associates with lower levels of p16INK4a positive cells in human skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-725
Number of pages4
JournalAging Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Biological age
  • Cellular senescence
  • Familial longevity
  • P16INK4a


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