Inhibition of p53-MDM2 binding reduces senescent cell abundance and improves the adaptive responses of skeletal muscle from aged mice

G. L. Nolt, A. R. Keeble, Y. Wen, A. C. Strong, N. T. Thomas, T. R. Valentino, C. R. Brightwell, K. A. Murach, S. Patrizia, H. Weinstabl, A. Gollner, J. J. McCarthy, C. S. Fry, M. Franti, A. Filareto, C. A. Peterson, C. M. Dungan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Skeletal muscle adaptation to external stimuli, such as regeneration following injury and hypertrophy in response to resistance exercise, are blunted with advanced age. The accumulation of senescent cells, along with defects in myogenic progenitor cell (MPC) proliferation, have been strongly linked as contributing factors to age-associated impairment in muscle adaptation. p53 plays an integral role in all these processes, as upregulation of p53 causes apoptosis in senescent cells and prevents mitotic catastrophe in MPCs from old mice. The goal of this study was to determine if a novel pharmaceutical agent (BI01), which functions by upregulating p53 through inhibition of binding to MDM2, the primary p53 regulatory protein, improves muscle regeneration and hypertrophy in old mice. BI01 effectively reduced the number of senescent cells in vitro but had no effect on MPC survival or proliferation at a comparable dose. Following repeated oral gavage with 2 mg/kg of BI01 (OS) or vehicle (OV), old mice (24 months) underwent unilateral BaCl(2) injury in the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle, with PBS injections serving as controls. After 7 days, satellite cell number was higher in the TA of OS compared to OV mice, as was the expression of genes involved in ATP production. By 35 days, old mice treated with BI01 displayed reduced senescent cell burden, enhanced regeneration (higher muscle mass and fiber cross-sectional area) and restoration of muscle function relative to OV mice. To examine the impact of 2 mg/kg BI01 on muscle hypertrophy, the plantaris muscle was subjected to 28 days of mechanical overload (MOV) in OS and OV mice. In response to MOV, OS mice had larger plantaris muscles and muscle fibers than OV mice, particularly type 2b + x fibers, associated with reduced senescent cells. Together our data show that BI01 is an effective senolytic agent that may also augment muscle metabolism to enhance muscle regeneration and hypertrophy in old mice.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2153-2176
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Nolt, Georgia L Keeble, Alexander R Wen, Yuan Strong, Aubrey C Thomas, Nicholas T Valentino, Taylor R Brightwell, Camille R Murach, Kevin A Patrizia, Sini Weinstabl, Harald Gollner, Andreas McCarthy, John J Fry, Christopher S Franti, Michael Filareto, Antonio Peterson, Charlotte A Dungan, Cory M eng R01 AG063944/AG/NIA NIH HHS/ AG049806/GF/NIH HHS/ R01 AG069909/AG/NIA NIH HHS/ AG063944/GF/NIH HHS/ AG069909/GF/NIH HHS/ R01 AG049806/AG/NIA NIH HHS/ Switzerland 2023/10/24 Geroscience. 2024 Apr;46(2):2153-2176. doi: 10.1007/s11357-023-00976-2. Epub 2023 Oct 24.


  • Animals Mice Cellular Senescence Hypertrophy Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/physiology *Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism *Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism/pharmacology Regeneration Senescence Senolytics Skeletal Muscle


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