Age-related impaired T cell function is associated with increased mortality risk. The purpose of the present study was therefore to identify factors associated with the age-related decreased phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-induced proliferative response of lymphocytes in a cohort of 174 81-year-old humans and in 91 young controls. Decreased proliferation was associated with a reduced number of true naive CD4(+) cells (CD62L(+)CD45RO(-)). Furthermore, a low IL-2-stimulated proliferation was correlated with a decreased PHA response in the elderly cohort, whereas reciprocal interactions of IL-10- and IL-2-producing cells were of importance in both elderly and young subjects. Accordingly, a minimum of true naive CD4(+) cells was required for a normal proliferative response to PHA, perhaps by providing sufficient IL-2 which is critical for growth of naive as well as memory cells.
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|