Blocking PD-L1–PD-1 improves senescence surveillance and ageing phenotypes

Teh Wei Wang, Yoshikazu Johmura, Narumi Suzuki, Satotaka Omori, Toshiro Migita, Kiyoshi Yamaguchi, Seira Hatakeyama, Satoshi Yamazaki, Eigo Shimizu, Seiya Imoto, Yoichi Furukawa, Akihiko Yoshimura, Makoto Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The accumulation of senescent cells is a major cause of age-related inflammation and predisposes to a variety of age-related diseases1. However, little is known about the molecular basis underlying this accumulation and its potential as a target to ameliorate the ageing process. Here we show that senescent cells heterogeneously express the immune checkpoint protein programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and that PD-L1+ senescent cells accumulate with age in vivo. PD-L1 cells are sensitive to T cell surveillance, whereas PD-L1+ cells are resistant, even in the presence of senescence-associated secretory phenotypes (SASP). Single-cell analysis of p16+ cells in vivo revealed that PD-L1 expression correlated with higher levels of SASP. Consistent with this, administration of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) antibody to naturally ageing mice or a mouse model with normal livers or induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis reduces the total number of p16+ cells in vivo as well as the PD-L1+ population in an activated CD8+ T cell-dependent manner, ameliorating various ageing-related phenotypes. These results suggest that the heterogeneous expression of PD-L1 has an important role in the accumulation of senescent cells and inflammation associated with ageing, and the elimination of PD-L1+ senescent cells by immune checkpoint blockade may be a promising strategy for anti-ageing therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
Issue number7935
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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