Centenarians, particularly healthy centenarians, constitute the example of successful aging and the study of their immune status can help to define the endpoint of the changes occurring throughout life. We characterized T cell clones (TCC) of two healthy centenarians, studying their phenotypes and production of representative Th1 and Th2 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-4) and compared them with TCC obtained by three young normal subjects; in all 180 TCC were analyzed. In young donors, 35 TCC were CD4+, 56 CD8+ and 2 were αβCD4-CD8- (double negative). In centenarians, we obtained 46 CD4+ TCC, 38 CD8+, 2 CD4+CD8+ (double positive) and 1 γδ+ double negative. Of the young subjects' TCC, 71% produced IFN-γ but no IL-4 (Th1 pattern) and this prevalence decreased to 39% in TCC from the centenarians. The number of clones showing the opposite Th2 pattern was similar in young and aged donors (3 out of 93 TCC and 2 out of 87 TCC, respectively). The intermediate profile of TCC producing both IL-4 and IFN-γ (Th0) was found in 25.8% of clones from young people, but it almost doubled to 58.6% in centenarians. The analysis shows that the Th profiles of CD8+ TCC is nearly superimposable in the two groups, whereas a major shift from a Th1 to a Th0 pattern is presented by CD4+ TCC. The balance provided by a majority of CD4+ TCC showing a Th0 pattern may ensure both humoral and cell-mediated defences. In CD8+ TCC, however, a Th1 pattern still is present, possibly for efficient generation of cytotoxic responses. These findings should be extended by studying other centenarians and elderly subjects.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||European Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
- T helper subset
ASJC Scopus subject areas