Down syndrome, accelerated aging and immunosenescence

Noémie Gensous, Maria Giulia Bacalini, Claudio Franceschi, Paolo Garagnani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder, associated with moderate to severe intellectual disability. While life expectancy of Down syndrome population has greatly increased over the last decades, mortality rates are still high and subjects are facing prematurely a phenomenon of atypical and accelerated aging. The presence of an immune impairment in Down syndrome subjects is suggested for a long time by the existence of an increased incidence of infections, the incomplete efficacy of vaccinations, and a high prevalence of autoimmunity. Immunologic abnormalities have been described since many years in this population, both from a numerical and a functional points of view, and these abnormalities can mirror the ones observed during normal aging. In this review, we summarize our knowledge on immunologic disturbances commonly observed in subjects with Down syndrome, and in innate and adaptive immunity, as well as regarding chronic inflammation. We then discuss the role of accelerated aging in these observed abnormalities and finally review the potential age-associated molecular and cellular mechanisms involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-645
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Immunopathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Accelerated aging
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunosenescence
  • Inflammaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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