Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biogerontology. 2009 Feb;10(1):13-25. doi: 10.1007/s10522-008-9150-x. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Alterations in dendritic cell function in aged mice: potential implications for immunotherapy design.

Author information

  • 1Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


It is known that immune system functions decrease with age, and that adaptive immune responses, especially CD4+ T cell function, seem to be the main affected point in immunity with aging. Dendritic cells (DC) are the major antigen presenting cell (APC), and at least part of the defects observed in adaptive immunity of aged individuals could be due to diminished potential of bone marrow to generate new DC, or defects in DC function. In this study, we investigated if the ability of aged bone marrow (BM) to generate new DC in vitro, as well as aged BM-derived DC responses to lypopolysaccharide (LPS). Because DC are important tools in newly developing anti-tumor therapies, we also studied the ability of aged DC to phagocytose and present antigen from necrotic tumor cells. We found that aged BM generated fewer DC in vitro compared to young BM. While LPS-induced DC maturation is reduced in DC of aged mice, a high TNF-alpha production is observed in aged DC even without LPS stimulation. While phagocytosis of tumor cells is not affected by age, and DC derived from aged BM show a higher TNF-alpha production in response to phagocytosis, presentation of tumor antigens was decreased in aged DC. Because class II upregulation in response to phagocytosis was similar between aged and young DC, this could indicate an age associated processing defect in the exogenous pathway. These findings suggest that age of BM used to generate DC does not impair their phagocytic ability or TNF-alpha production, however leads to a decreased yield in mature DC, reduced response to LPS, and diminished antigen processing/presentation potential. Our results are relevant to optimization DC-based vaccine design for aged populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk