NKG2D-CAR T cells eliminate senescent cells in aged mice and nonhuman primates

Dong Yang, Bin Sun, Shirong Li, Wenwen Wei, Xiuyun Liu, Xiaoyue Cui, Xianning Zhang, Nan Liu, Lanzhen Yan, Yibin Deng, Xudong Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Cellular senescence, characterized by stable cell cycle arrest, plays an important role in aging and age-associated pathologies. Eliminating senescent cells rejuvenates aged tissues and ameliorates age-associated diseases. Here, we identified that natural killer group 2 member D ligands (NKG2DLs) are up-regulated in senescent cells in vitro, regardless of stimuli that induced cellular senescence, and in various tissues of aged mice and nonhuman primates in vivo. Accordingly, we developed and demonstrated that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting human NKG2DLs selectively and effectively diminish human cells undergoing senescence induced by oncogenic stress, replicative stress, DNA damage, or P16INK4a overexpression in vitro. Targeting senescent cells with mouse NKG2D-CAR T cells alleviated multiple aging-associated pathologies and improved physical performance in both irradiated and aged mice. Autologous T cells armed with the human NKG2D CAR effectively delete naturally occurring senescent cells in aged nonhuman primates without any observed adverse effects. Our findings establish that NKG2D-CAR T cells could serve as potent and selective senolytic agents for aging and age-associated diseases driven by senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadd1951
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number709
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 The Authors, some rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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