Aging is considered a systemic, chronic and low-grade inflammatory state, called “inflammaging”, which has been contemplated as a risk factor for cancer development and progression in the elderly population. Cellular senescence is a multifactorial phenomenon of growth arrest and distorted function, which has been recognized as a contributor to aging. Senescent cells have an altered secretion pattern called Senescent Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP), that comprise a complex mix of factors including cytokines, growth factors, chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases among others. The SASP secreted by accumulated senescent cells during old age has been related to local inflammation that leads to cellular transformation and therefore may be supporting the inflammaging process.
Here, we evaluated if the pro-inflammatory profile within the serum obtained from elderly patients (EPS) was able to induce cellular proliferation in the breast cancer transformed cell line (MCF-7), in a similar way to the proliferation stimulated by the SASP obtained from WI-38 primary cells prematurely induced to senescence by oxidative stress (SIPS). At the same time, the participation of IL-6/IL-8 ratio was determined.
Our results showed that not all the EPS increased MCF-7 proliferation. However, there was an interesting relationship between IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations, when the IL-6 was higher than IL-8. Similar results were found with SASP from SIPS-WI-38 on the MCF-7 proliferation. Although it is known that those cytokines are fundamental factors to induce proliferation; the occurrence of other components in the cellular microenvironment is necessary to carry out this effect.