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Mech Ageing Dev. 2006 Jun;127(6):526-37. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Cytokine receptor signalling and aging.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche sur le vieillissement, Service de Gériatrie, Département de Médecine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Que., Canada. tamas.fulop@usherbrooke.ca


With ageing the immune system is deregulated and this leads to the development of immunosenescence mainly affecting the adaptive immune response. There is much knowledge accumulated concerning various receptor functions and signalling with ageing such as TCR, FcRs, TLRs. Cytokines are playing a major role in haematopoietic cell functions and in the harmonious and integrated coordination of the innate and adaptive immune response. There exists a large amount of data on cytokine production changes with ageing, as IL-2 production is decreasing, while IL-6 production is increasing. In contrast, there is only scarce knowledge concerning the cytokine receptors and their signalling in ageing. However, there is some evidence that the signalling of IL-2 receptors is altered in T cells and macrophages, mainly in relation to the JAK/STAT pathway. We present here evidence that the IL-6 induced signalling is also altered in T cells with ageing. An alteration in the JAKs and STATs activations in T cells and macrophages was demonstrated. The exact cause of these altered activations is not known and future studies are needed to elucidate them. In this review we summarise our present knowledge on cytokine signalling with ageing, mainly focusing on IL-2 and IL-6 receptors signalling.

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