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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 134243, 13 pages
Research Article

p53/p21 Pathway Involved in Mediating Cellular Senescence of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients

1Department of Rheumatology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China
2Department of Hematology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China
3Department of Immunology, Medical College, Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 20 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jianying Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Zhifeng Gu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our and other groups have found that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients exhibited senescent behavior and are involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. Numerous studies have shown that activation of the p53/p21 pathway inhibits the proliferation of BM-MSCs. The aim of this study was to determine whether p53/p21 pathway is involved in regulating the aging of BM-MSCs from SLE patients and the underlying mechanisms. We further confirmed that BM-MSCs from SLE patients showed characteristics of senescence. The expressions of p53 and p21 were significantly increased, whereas levels of Cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase-2, and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein were decreased in the BM-MSCs from SLE patients and knockdown of p21 expression reversed the senescent features of BM-MSCs from SLE patients. Our results demonstrated that p53/p21 pathway played an important role in the senescence process of BM-MSCs from SLE.