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Exp Gerontol. 2004 Apr;39(4):545-50.

Characterization of naïve, memory and effector CD8+ T cells: effect of age.

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Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, Medical Sciences C C-240, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697 4069, USA.


Aging is associated with progressive decline in T cell functions and increased frequency of infections, autoimmune phenomenon, and cancer. Memory T cells rapidly acquire effector functions to kill infected and malignant cells and/or inhibit their replication. Recently, memory T cells have been further classified into central and effector memory T cells (and early and intermediate T cells by some investigators). In aging, memory T cells are accumulated; however, these subpopulations of memory and effector T cells have not been fully characterized and changes in central memory and effector memory T cells in aged humans have not been described. In this article, we have further defined naïve, central memory, effector memory, and effector CD8+ T cells in humans and their changes in aged humans.

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