Senescent cells enhance newt limb regeneration by promoting muscle dedifferentiation

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Salamanders are able to regenerate their entire limbs throughout lifespan, through a process that involves significant modulation of cellular plasticity. Limb regeneration is accompanied by the endogenous induction of cellular senescence, a state of irreversible cell cycle arrest associated with profound non-cell-autonomous consequences. While traditionally associated with detrimental physiological effects, here, we show that senescent cells can enhance newt limb regeneration. Through a lineage tracing approach, we demonstrate that exogenously derived senescent cells promote dedifferentiation of mature muscle tissue to generate regenerative progenitors. In a paradigm of newt myotube dedifferentiation, we uncover that senescent cells promote myotube cell cycle re-entry and reversal of muscle identity via secreted factors. Transcriptomic profiling and loss of function approaches identify the FGF-ERK signalling axis as a critical mediator of senescence-induced muscle dedifferentiation. While chronic senescence constrains muscle regeneration in physiological mammalian contexts, we thus highlight a beneficial role for cellular senescence as an important modulator of dedifferentiation, a key mechanism for regeneration of complex structures.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13826
JournalAging cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85152052177
PubMed 37025070
WOS 000964872800001


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • cellular senescence, dedifferentiation, ERK, FGF, regeneration, reprogramming, salamander, WNT, Cell Dedifferentiation, Mammals, Animals, Cellular Senescence, Salamandridae/physiology, Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/metabolism, Fgf, Cellular senescence, Regeneration, Reprogramming, Dedifferentiation, Salamander, Wnt, Erk

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