Age-dependent modifications of Type 1 and Type 2 cytokines within virgin and memory CD4+ T cells in humans

S. Alberti, E. Cevenini, R. Ostan, M. Capri, S. Salvioli, L. Bucci, L. Ginaldi, M. De Martinis, C. Franceschi, D. Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several alterations in immune function and a concomitant progressive increase in pro-inflammatory status are the major characteristics of ageing process. Cytokines play a key role during ageing acting both in regulatory communication among cells and in effector activity during an immune response. The impact of age on intracellular Type 1 (IFN-γ and TNF-α) and Type 2 (IL-4) cytokines, after stimulation with PMA/ionomycin, was determined in three CD4+ T subsets, i.e. CD95-CD28+ (virgin), CD95+CD28+ (activated/memory), and CD95+CD28- (effector/memory) from 47 subjects aged between 21 and 99 years. The percentage of IFN-γ positive cells significantly decreased in virgin CD4+ subset both in old and nonagenarian subjects, as well as in activated/memory T cells from old in comparison with young subjects. The percentage of TNF-α positive cells significantly decreased in activated/memory CD4+ subset from old people. Regarding Type 2 cytokines, IL-4 positive cells significantly increased in activated/memory CD4+ subset from nonagenarians. On the whole our data indicate that: (1) different Type 1 and Type 2 cytokine-positive CD4+ T subsets are differently affected by ageing process; (2) activated/memory T cells appear to be the most affected subset; (3) a shift towards an increased role of Type 2 cytokines and a diminished role of Type 1 cytokines emerges with ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-566
Number of pages7
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Volume127
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • CD4 T cells
  • Immunosenescence
  • Inflamm-ageing
  • Intracellular cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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