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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 7953486, 13 pages
Review Article

The Light and Shadow of Senescence and Inflammation in Cardiovascular Pathology and Regenerative Medicine

1Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Group, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, University of Padua and Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padua, Italy
2Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina, Italy
3IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Laura Iop; ti.dpinu@poi.arual

Received 20 July 2017; Accepted 12 September 2017; Published 8 October 2017

Academic Editor: Carmela R. Balistreri

Copyright © 2017 Laura Iop 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.


Recent epidemiologic studies evidence a dramatic increase of cardiovascular diseases, especially associated with the aging of the world population. During aging, the progressive impairment of the cardiovascular functions results from the compromised tissue abilities to protect the heart against stress. At the molecular level, in fact, a gradual weakening of the cellular processes regulating cardiovascular homeostasis occurs in aging cells. Atherosclerosis and heart failure are particularly correlated with aging-related cardiovascular senescence, that is, the inability of cells to progress in the mitotic program until completion of cytokinesis. In this review, we explore the intrinsic and extrinsic causes of cellular senescence and their role in the onset of these cardiovascular pathologies. Additionally, we dissect the effects of aging on the cardiac endogenous and exogenous reservoirs of stem cells. Finally, we offer an overview on the strategies of regenerative medicine that have been advanced in the quest for heart rejuvenation.