Copyright © 2014 SPLF. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
The biological mechanisms of aging, and more specifically cellular senescence, are increasingly a subject of research. Cellular senescence may be a common determinant of many age-related diseases, including some chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Many arguments suggest that these diseases are associated with premature senescence of lung cells, which may be involved in the pathophysiology of respiratory alterations. Furthermore, these diseases are associated with systemic manifestations, such as bone loss, muscle wasting and atherosclerosis, which impact on symptoms and prognosis. Whether these alterations are related to a common pathogenic mechanism or develop independently in patients with COPD remains an open question. In this review, we will focus on cellular senescence and COPD. Two concepts will be discussed: (1) the role of cell senescence in the pathophysiology of lung destruction, vascular remodeling and inflammation in COPD, (2) the possible link between the pulmonary and systemic manifestations of COPD which could reflect a general process of accelerated aging.