During the last years, the hypothesis that aging and diseases are two distinct phenomena, and that successful aging is possible for most humans, has been put forward. We studied the TCR Vβ repertoire of T lymphocytes of healthy longevals and centenarians as crossing point of genetic predisposition and environmental effects to longevity, using the Spectra-typing method. TCR Vβ1, Vβ8, and Vβ20 were found to be expanded in the longeval population, compared with the younger control population. This repertoire can have been shaped by the selective action of particular HLA alleles, or by the clonal expansion of specific T cell clones, able to modulate the immune response to endogenous and exogenous antigens. Moreover, the skewed Vβ usage and the clonal expansion seem to be the effects of physiological changes occurring with aging and not pathological signs of malignity.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
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