Mitochondria in Cell Senescence: Is Mitophagy the Weakest Link?

Viktor I. Korolchuk, Satomi Miwa, Bernadette Carroll, Thomas von Zglinicki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

218 Citations (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


Cell senescence is increasingly recognized as a major contributor to the loss of health and fitness associated with aging. Senescent cells accumulate dysfunctional mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation efficiency is decreased and reactive oxygen species production is increased. In this review we will discuss how the turnover of mitochondria (a term referred to as mitophagy) is perturbed in senescence contributing to mitochondrial accumulation and Senescence-Associated Mitochondrial Dysfunction (SAMD). We will further explore the subsequent cellular consequences; in particular SAMD appears to be necessary for at least part of the specific Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP) and may be responsible for tissue-level metabolic dysfunction that is associated with aging and obesity. Understanding the complex interplay between these major senescence-associated phenotypes will help to select and improve interventions that prolong healthy life in humans. Search strategy and selection criteria Data for this review were identified by searches of MEDLINE, PubMed, and references from relevant articles using the search terms “mitochondria AND senescence”, “(autophagy OR mitophagy) AND senescence”, “mitophagy AND aging” and related terms. Additionally, searches were performed based on investigator names. Abstracts and reports from meetings were excluded. Articles published in English between 1995 and 2017 were included. Articles were selected according to their relevance to the topic as perceived by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
Early online date14 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Aging
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitophagy
  • Senescence


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