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Trends Immunol. 2009 Jul;30(7):325-33. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Human innate immunosenescence: causes and consequences for immunity in old age.

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  • 1Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The past decade has seen an explosion in research focusing on innate immunity. Through a wide range of mechanisms including phagocytosis, intracellular killing and activation of proinflammatory or antiviral cytokine production, the cells of the innate immune system initiate and support adaptive immunity. The effects of aging on innate immune responses remain incompletely understood, particularly in humans. Here we review advances in the study of human immunosenescence in the diverse cells of the innate immune system, including neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, natural killer and natural killer T (NKT) cells and dendritic cells-with a focus on consequences for the response to infection or vaccination in old age.

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