Immune Netw.  2016 Oct;16(5):286-295. 10.4110/in.2016.16.5.286.

Enhanced Viral Replication by Cellular Replicative Senescence

  • 1Brain Korea 21 Plus for Biomedical Science, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul 08308, Korea.


Cellular replicative senescence is a major contributing factor to aging and to the development and progression of aging-associated diseases. In this study, we sought to determine viral replication efficiency of influenza virus (IFV) and Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) infection in senescent cells. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBE) or human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) were allowed to undergo numbers of passages to induce replicative senescence. Induction of replicative senescence in cells was validated by positive senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining. Increased susceptibility to both IFV and VZV infection was observed in senescent HBE and HDF cells, respectively, resulting in higher numbers of plaque formation, along with the upregulation of major viral antigen expression than that in the non-senescent cells. Interestingly, mRNA fold induction level of virus-induced type I interferon (IFN) was attenuated by senescence, whereas IFN-mediated antiviral effect remained robust and potent in virus-infected senescent cells. Additionally, we show that a longevity-promoting gene, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), has antiviral role against influenza virus infection. In conclusion, our data indicate that enhanced viral replication by cellular senescence could be due to senescence-mediated reduction of virus-induced type I IFN expression.


Senescence; Influenza; VZV; SIRT1
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