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Procyanidin C1 is a natural agent with senolytic activity against aging and age-related diseases

By Qixia Xu, Qiang Fu, Zi Li, Hanxin Liu, Ying Wang, Xu Lin, Ruikun He, Xuguang Zhang, Judith Campisi, Jams L. Kirkland, Yu Sun

Posted 14 Apr 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.14.439765

Aging causes functional decline of multiple organs and increases the risk of age-related pathologies. In advanced lives, accumulation of senescent cells, which develop the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), promotes chronic inflammation and causes diverse conditions. Here we report the frontline outcome of screening a natural product library with human primary stromal cells as an experimental model. Multiple candidate compounds were assayed, and grape seed extract (GSE) was selected for further investigation due to its leading capacity in targeting senescent cells. We found procyanidin C1 (PCC1), a polyphenolic component, plays a critical role in mediating the antiaging effects of GSE. PCC1 blocks the SASP expression when used at low concentrations. Importantly, it selectively kills senescent cells upon application at higher concentrations, mainly by enhancing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and disturbing mitochondrial membrane potential, processes accompanied by upregulation of Bcl-2 family pro-apoptotic factors Puma and Noxa in senescent cells. PCC1 depletes senescent cells in treatment-damaged tumor microenvironment (TME) and enhances therapeutic efficacy when combined with chemotherapy in preclinical assays. Intermittent administration of PCC1 to both senescent cell-implanted mice and naturally aged animals alleviated physical dysfunction and prolonged post-treatment survival, thus providing substantial benefits in late life stage. Together, our study identifies PCC1 as a distinct natural senolytic agent, which may be exploited to delay aging and control age-related pathologies in future medicine.

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