Increased age is blamed for a wide range of bone physiological changes, and although the underlying mechanisms affecting the decreased capacity for fracture healing are not fully understood, they are clearly linked to changes at the cellular level. Recent evidence suggests potential roles of senescent cells in response to most tissue injuries, including bone fractures. In this issue of the JCI, Liu, Zhang, and co-authors showed that a senolytic drug cocktail cleared senescent cells from the callus and improved bone fracture repair in aged mice. Understanding how senescent cells emerge at fracture sites and how their timely removal improves fracture healing should provide insights for effective therapeutic approaches in old age.
Isabel Beerman, Nathan Basisty, Rafael de Cabo