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Trends Mol Med. 2007 Mar;13(3):94-102. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Immune remodeling: lessons from repertoire alterations during chronological aging and in immune-mediated disease.

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1
Departments of Pediatrics and Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3460 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. abbe.vallejo@chp.edu

Abstract

Immunological studies of aging and of patients with chronic immune-mediated diseases document overlap of immune phenotypes. Here, the term "immune remodeling" refers to these phenotypes that are indicative of biological processes of deterioration and repair. This concept is explored through lessons from studies about the changes in the T-cell repertoire and the functional diversity of otherwise oligoclonal, senescent T cells. Immune remodeling suggests a gradual process that occurs throughout life. However, similar but more drastic remodeling occurs disproportionately among young patients with chronic disease. In this article, I propose that immune remodeling is a beneficial adaptation of aging to promote healthy survival beyond reproductive performance, but acute remodeling poses risk of premature exhaustion of the immune repertoire and, thus, is detrimental in young individuals.

PMID:
17267287
DOI:
10.1016/j.molmed.2007.01.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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