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A senolytic immunotoxin eliminates p16INK4a-positive T cells and ameliorates age-associated phenotypes of CD4+ T cells in a surface marker knock-in mouse
Yuma Sugiyama 1, Tanenobu Harada 1, Yuka Kamei 1, Tomoharu Yasuda 2, Tomoji Mashimo 3, Akihiko Nishikimi 4, Mitsuo Maruyama 5
...We herein describe a novel approach to eliminate p16-expressing cells from mice at any given point in time, generating a new type of knock-in model, p16hCD2 mice and a toxin-conjugated anti-human CD2 antibody (hCD2-SAP) as an inducer. p16hCD2 mice possess an intact Cdkn2a locus that includes a p16 coding region and human CD2 (hCD2) expression unit. We confirmed cognate p16-associated hCD2 expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and in several tissues, such as the spleen, liver, and skin. We detected chronological increases in the hCD2-positive population in T lymphocytes that occurred in a p16-dependent manner, which reflected physiological aging. We then confirmed the high sensitivity of hCD2-SAP to hCD2 and validated its efficacy to remove p16-positive cells, particularly in T lymphocytes. The multiple administration of hCD2-SAP for a prolonged p16-positive cell deficiency partially restored aging-related phenotypes in T lymphocytes, such as the contraction of the CD4+ naïve population and expansion of senescence-associated T cells. Our novel approach of targeting p16-positive senescent cells will provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying physiological aging in vivo.