Humoral immunity in aging

R. Paganelli, E. Scala, I. Quinti, I. J. Ansotegui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interactions between B and T lymphocytes, leading to the development of humoral responses, are reviewed with references to the changes occurring in aged people. Aging is perceived as a process of impairment of immune functions; it is known that T cells from aged subjects have a reduced ability to produce IL- 2. However, other functions seem to be upregulated in elderly subjects; indeed, IL- 1, IL- 3, IL- 4, IL- 6 and TNFα production are increased both in aged mice and humans. These cytokines are known to control B cell differentiation, through isotype switch and Ig production. A significant increase in IgG subclasses and IgA is observed in sera of aged subjects. This contrasts with the significant decrease in circulating B lymphocytes. The impairment of primary responses to immunization, and other aspects of humoral immunity, including mucosal responses, autoantibody production and correlations with phenotypic markers of T and B cell subsets, are discussed. (Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 6: 143–150, 1994)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Aging
  • B lymphocytes
  • cytokines
  • immunoglobulins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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