Zinc, infections and immunosenescence

Eugenio Mocchegiani, Robertina Giacconi, Mario Muzzioli, Catia Cipriano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infections may cause mortality in old age due to damaged immune responses. As zinc is required as a catalyst, structural (zinc fingers) and regulatory ion, it is involved in many biological functions, including immune responses. Low zinc ion bioavailability and impaired cell-mediated immunity are common in ageing and may be restored by physiological supplementation with zinc for 1-2 months, impacting upon morbidity and survival. This article reviews the role of zinc in immune efficacy during ageing, and also describes the main biochemical pathways involved in the role of zinc in resistance to infections in ageing in order to better understand the possible causes of immunosenescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 2001


  • Immunosenescence
  • Infections
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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