Generation of a p16 Reporter Mouse and Its Use to Characterize and Target p16high Cells In Vivo

Satotaka Omori, Teh Wei Wang, Yoshikazu Johmura*, Tomomi Kanai, Yasuhiro Nakano, Taketomo Kido, Etsuo A. Susaki, Takuya Nakajima, Shigeyuki Shichino, Satoshi Ueha, Manabu Ozawa, Kisho Yokote, Soichiro Kumamoto, Atsuya Nishiyama, Takeharu Sakamoto, Kiyoshi Yamaguchi, Seira Hatakeyama, Eigo Shimizu, Kotoe Katayama, Yasuhiro YamadaSatoshi Yamazaki, Kanako Iwasaki, Chika Miyoshi, Hiromasa Funato, Masashi Yanagisawa, Hiroo Ueno, Seiya Imoto, Yoichi Furukawa, Nobuaki Yoshida, Kouji Matsushima, Hiroki R. Ueda, Atsushi Miyajima, Makoto Nakanishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Cell senescence plays a key role in age-associated organ dysfunction, but the in vivo pathogenesis is largely unclear. Here, we generated a p16-CreERT2-tdTomato mouse model to analyze the in vivo characteristics of p16high cells at a single-cell level. We found tdTomato-positive p16high cells detectable in all organs, which were enriched with age. We also found that these cells failed to proliferate and had half-lives ranging from 2.6 to 4.2 months, depending on the tissue examined. Single-cell transcriptomics in the liver and kidneys revealed that p16high cells were present in various cell types, though most dominant in hepatic endothelium and in renal proximal and distal tubule epithelia, and that these cells exhibited heterogeneous senescence-associated phenotypes. Further, elimination of p16high cells ameliorated nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-related hepatic lipidosis and immune cell infiltration. Our new mouse model and single-cell analysis provide a powerful resource to enable the discovery of previously unidentified senescence functions in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-828.e6
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 3
Externally publishedYes


  • NASH
  • aging
  • p16Ink4a
  • senescence
  • single-cell transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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