Senescence-associated beta-galactosidase marker of cellular senescence

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Encyclopedia of Biomedical Gerontology




Aging; Premature senescence; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Replicative senescence; Senescence; Senescence-associated beta-galactosidase; Senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP); Telomerase; Telomeres


© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The scientific studies aimed at cellular senescence have played an important role in our understanding of cancer and the aging process. It is now well established that the accumulation of senescent cells in various organs of living organisms is a contributory factor in the development of age-associated diseases. Although the phenomenon of cellular senescence in human cells was first described several decades ago, major progress in understanding the mechanism and the role of cellular senescence started in the late 1990s, greatly facilitated by the discovery of the Senescence-Associated Beta-Galactosidase (SABG) marker. About 25 years ago, Dr. Campisi’s laboratory reported a simple histochemical method to detect SABG and identify senescent cells in vitro and in vivo. This method to detect SABG is now considered a gold standard in laboratories across the world studying the role of senescence in cancer and various gerontological diseases. The SABG marker and the method are likely to facilitate the discovery of a new class of senescence-based novel drugs to treat cancer, neurological and various gerontological diseases in coming years.