Cellular senescence, defined as an irreversible cell cycle arrest, exacerbates the tissue microenvironment. Our previous study demonstrated that mouse uterine senescent cells were physiologically increased according to gestational days and that their abnormal accumulation was linked to the onset of preterm delivery.Wehypothesized that there is a mechanism for removal of senescent cells after parturition to maintain uterine function. In the current study, we noted abundant uterine senescent cells and their gradual disappearance in wild-type postpartum mice. F4/80+ macrophages were present specifically around the area rich in senescent cells. Depletion of macrophages in the postpartum mice using anti-F4/80 antibody enlarged the area of senescent cells in the uterus. We also found excessive uterine senescent cells and decreased second pregnancy success rate in a preterm birth model using uterine p53-deleted mice. Furthermore, a decrease in F4/80+ cells and an increase in CD11b+ cells with a senescence-associated inflammatory microenvironment were observed in the p53-deleted uterus, suggesting that uterine p53 deficiency affects distribution of the macrophage subpopulation, interferes with senescence clearance, and promotes senescenceinduced inflammation. These findings indicate that the macrophage is a key player in the clearance of uterine senescent cells to maintain postpartum uterine function.
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