Proliferative responses of blood mononuclear cells (BMNC) in a cohort of elderly humans: role of lymphocyte phenotype and cytokine production

H. Bruunsgaard, Agnes Nadelmann Pedersen, M. Schroll, P. Skinhøj, B. K. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume119
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)433-440
ISSN0009-9104
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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