Induction of γδ- and αβ-mediated T cell responses in healthy elderly subjects after influenza vaccination

Francesca Re, Alessia Donnini, Mauro Provinciali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Influenza is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly and influenza vaccination has shown a decreased efficacy in aged people. Both γβ- and αβ-T cell responses, which are believed to play an important role in controlling influenza infection, are impaired during aging. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of influenza vaccine to induce cellular immune responses mediated by γδ- and αβ-T cells in healthy elderly subjects. After influenza vaccination, an increased proportion of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells having reduced proliferative capacity and increased perforin production, and then a differentiated effector/memory phenotype, was present. The peripheral number and the cytokine production of γδ T cells were not changed. A significant decrease of CD4 and CD8 naïve T cells and a corresponding increase of CD4 and CD8 memory T cells were found. The in vitro stimulation of PBMCs from elderly subjects with influenza antigens increased their proliferative capacity and the production of both IFNγ and IL-4. The vaccine was clinically effective, since in the outbreak period, only one influenza case was noted. The results reported in this study demonstrate the activation of both γδ- and αβ-T cell responses in healthy elderly after influenza vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • γδT cells
  • CD4 T cells
  • CD8T cells
  • Elderly
  • Human
  • Influenza vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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