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The Most Overlooked Underlying Cause of Joint Dysfunction: Senescent Cells


Senescent cells, colloquially known as “zombie cells,” have emerged as pivotal players in the aging process and age-related ailments, particularly joint disorders like arthritis. These cells, once active but now in a state of growth arrest, accumulate in arthritic joints, triggering a cascade of inflammatory responses and tissue degradation. The pro-inflammatory secretions of senescent cells, notably cytokines and chemokines, perpetuate joint inflammation and exacerbate the symptoms associated with arthritis (Jeon et al., 2017; Tchkonia et al., 2013).

Traditional approaches to arthritis management primarily focus on symptom control, often falling short of addressing the underlying mechanisms driving joint degeneration. However, the advent of senolytic therapy has ushered in a paradigm shift by directly targeting senescent cells for elimination. Senolytics are compounds designed to selectively clear senescent cells from tissues, thereby mitigating their detrimental effects on joint health (Hernández-Segura et al., 2019).

Studies utilizing senolytic interventions have reported significant improvements in clinical outcomes for arthritis patients. By reducing the burden of senescent cells in arthritic joints, these therapies alleviate inflammation, restore joint function, and alleviate pain, offering a more comprehensive approach to arthritis treatment (Zhu et al., 2015; Xu et al., 2018).

The mechanism of action of senolytics involves disrupting the survival pathways specific to senescent cells while sparing normal, healthy cells. This targeted approach minimizes off-target effects and enhances the therapeutic efficacy of senolytic interventions (Justice et al., 2019). Moreover, by clearing senescent cells, senolytic therapy holds the potential to not only ameliorate current symptoms but also halt or slow down the progression of joint degeneration in the long term (van Deursen, 2019).

This  interplay between senescent cells and joint disorders underscores the importance of addressing cellular senescence in therapeutic strategies. Senolytic therapy, with its targeted and selective approach, represents a promising avenue for improving clinical outcomes in arthritis management by targeting the root cause of joint inflammation and degeneration.

With regard to natural senolytic compounds, fisetin, quercetin, and luteolin have garnered attention for their potential in addressing cellular senescence, including their application in managing joint health especially when combined with other highly effective compounds, such as peptides like BPC-157.

Fisetin, a flavonoid found in various fruits and vegetables, has demonstrated senolytic properties by selectively targeting and clearing senescent cells. Studies have shown that fisetin can reduce the burden of senescent cells in tissues, leading to improvements in age-related conditions such as inflammation and tissue degeneration (Yousefzadeh et al., 2018). Quercetin, another flavonoid abundant in foods like onions and apples, exhibits senolytic effects by inducing apoptosis in senescent cells while sparing healthy cells (Zhu et al., 2015). Luteolin, found in parsley, celery, and other plants, has also shown promise in clearing senescent cells and mitigating age-related pathologies (Zhu et al., 2015).

Combining these natural senolytic compounds with peptides like BPC-157 can offer synergistic benefits for joint health. BPC-157, a peptide derived from a protein in gastric juice, has been studied for its regenerative properties, including its ability to promote healing in tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues (Krivic et al., 2010). When used in conjunction with senolytics, BPC-157 may help address both the underlying cellular senescence contributing to joint issues and promote tissue repair and regeneration.

The combination of natural senolytic compounds and peptides like BPC-157 presents a holistic approach to improving joint health by targeting cellular senescence and supporting tissue healing and regeneration. This integrative approach holds promise for enhancing the effectiveness of therapies aimed at addressing age-related joint disorders like arthritis, offering potential benefits beyond traditional treatments.


  1. Jeon, O. H., et al. (2017). Local clearance of senescent cells attenuates the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis and creates a pro-regenerative environment. Nature Medicine, 23(6), 775-781.
  2. Tchkonia, T., et al. (2013). Cellular senescence and the senescent secretory phenotype: therapeutic opportunities. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 123(3), 966-972.
  3. Hernández-Segura, A., et al. (2019). Hallmarks of cellular senescence. Trends in Cell Biology, 30(6), 427-443.
  4. Zhu, Y., et al. (2015). The Achilles’ heel of senescent cells: from transcriptome to senolytic drugs. Aging Cell, 14(4), 644-658.
  5. Xu, M., et al. (2018). Targeting senescent cells enhances adipogenesis and metabolic function in old age. eLife, 7, e31159.
  6. Justice, J. N., et al. (2019). Senolytics in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: Results from a first-in-human, open-label, pilot study. EBioMedicine, 40, 554-563.
  7. van Deursen, J. M. (2019). Senolytic therapies for healthy longevity. Science, 364(6441), 636-637.
  8. Yousefzadeh, M. J., et al. (2018). Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan. EBioMedicine, 36, 18-28.
  9. Zhu, Y., et al. (2015). The Achilles’ heel of senescent cells: from transcriptome to senolytic drugs. Aging Cell, 14(4), 644-658.
  10. Krivic, A., et al. (2010). Modulatory effect of gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on angiogenesis in muscle and tendon healing. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 61(2), 191-196.




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