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Science. 1996 Jul 5;273(5271):70-4.

The aging immune system: primer and prospectus.

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  • 1University of Michigan School of Medicine, University of Michigan Institute of Gerontology, Ann Arbor, 48109-0642, USA.


Changes in T lymphocyte populations underlie much of the age-related decline in the protective immune response. Aging leads to the replacement of virgin T cells by memory T cells and to the accumulation of cells with signal transduction defects. Studies of antibody gene assembly, accessory cell function, post-thymic T cell development, skewed selection of T cell receptor repertoire, and the clinical concomitants of immune senescence will shed new light on the causes and consequences of age-dependent immune failure.

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