Although senescence is a defining property of euploid mammalian cells, its physiologic basis remains obscure. Previously, cell kinetics properties of normal tissue cells have not been considered in models for senescence. We now provide evidence that senescence is in fact the natural consequence of normal in vivo somatic stem cell kinetics extended in culture. This concept of senescence is based on our discovery that cells engineered to conditionally express the well-recognized tumor suppressor protein and senescence factor, p53, exhibit asymmetric cell kinetics. In vivo, asymmetric cell kinetics are essential for maintenance of somatic stem cells; ex vivo, the same cell kinetics yield senescence as a simple kinetic endpoint. This new "asymmetric cell kinetics model" for senescence suggests novel strategies for the isolation and propagation of somatic tissue stem cells in culture.
Rambhatla, Lakshmi; Bohn, Shirley A.; Stadler, Patrizia B.; Boyd, Jonathan T.; Coss, Ronald A.; and Sherley, James L., "Cellular Senescence: Ex Vivo p53-Dependent Asymmetric Cell Kinetics." (2001). Department of Radiation Oncology Faculty Papers. Paper 36.