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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 20;115(8):1801-1806. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1721160115. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Naked mole rats can undergo developmental, oncogene-induced and DNA damage-induced cellular senescence.

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Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627.
Center for Data-Intensive Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, 143028 Moscow, Russia.
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.
Tumor Suppression Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, 28029 Madrid, Spain.
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme, Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, Cambridge CB2 0XZ, United Kingdom.
Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies, 08010 Barcelona, Spain.
Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L7 8TX, United Kingdom.
Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, 3498838 Haifa, Israel
Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627;


Cellular senescence is an important anticancer mechanism that restricts proliferation of damaged or premalignant cells. Cellular senescence also plays an important role in tissue remodeling during development. However, there is a trade-off associated with cellular senescence as senescent cells contribute to aging pathologies. The naked mole rat (NMR) (Heterocephalus glaber) is the longest-lived rodent that is resistant to a variety of age-related diseases. Remarkably, NMRs do not show aging phenotypes until very late stages of their lives. Here, we tested whether NMR cells undergo cellular senescence. We report that the NMR displays developmentally programmed cellular senescence in multiple tissues, including nail bed, skin dermis, hair follicle, and nasopharyngeal cavity. NMR cells also underwent cellular senescence when transfected with oncogenic Ras. In addition, cellular senescence was detected in NMR embryonic and skin fibroblasts subjected to γ-irradiation (IR). However, NMR cells required a higher dose of IR for induction of cellular senescence, and NMR fibroblasts were resistant to IR-induced apoptosis. Gene expression analyses of senescence-related changes demonstrated that, similar to mice, NMR cells up-regulated senescence-associated secretory phenotype genes but displayed more profound down-regulation of DNA metabolism, transcription, and translation than mouse cells. We conclude that the NMR displays the same types of cellular senescence found in a short-lived rodent.


aging; naked mole rat; senescence

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