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Targeting senescent cells with NKG2D-CAR T cells.

Cell death discovery

Authors: Yushuang Deng, Avadh Kumar, Kan Xie, Kristina Schaaf, Enzo Scifo, Sarah Morsy, Tao Li, Armin Ehninger, Daniele Bano, Dan Ehninger

This study investigates the efficacy of NKG2D chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T cells in targeting and eliminating stress-induced senescent cells in vitro. Cellular senescence contributes to age-related tissue decline and is characterized by permanent cell cycle arrest and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Immunotherapy, particularly CAR-T cell therapy, emerges as a promising approach to selectively eliminate senescent cells. Our focus is on the NKG2D receptor, which binds to ligands (NKG2DLs) upregulated in senescent cells, offering a target for CAR-T cells. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and astrocytes (AST) as senescence models, we demonstrate the elevated expression of NKG2DLs in response to genotoxic and oxidative stress. NKG2D-CAR T cells displayed potent cytotoxicity against these senescent cells, with minimal effects on non-senescent cells, suggesting their potential as targeted senolytics. In conclusion, our research presents the first evidence of NKG2D-CAR T cells' ability to target senescent brain cells, offering a novel approach to manage senescence-associated diseases. The findings pave the way for future investigations into the therapeutic applicability of NKG2D-targeting CAR-T cells in naturally aged organisms and models of aging-associated brain diseases in vivo.

© 2024. The Author(s).

PMID: 38704364

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