Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mech Ageing Dev. 1991 Sep;60(1):13-24.

Impairment of lymphocyte activities in depressed aged subjects.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Clinica Medica Generale, Universit√° Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Facolt√° di Medicina, Roma, Italy.


Lymphocyte activities were determined in a population of 26 institutionalized aged subjects, selected as healthy according to the SENIEUR protocol and previously reported to display immunological and endocrinological abnormalities correlated with depressive disorders. The lymphocyte mitotic response to PHA, which was reduced in aged as compared to adult subjects, was found to be significantly lower and negatively correlated with the depression score in the elderly subjects. In supernatants of PHA-stimulated lymphocyte culture from aged subjects, IL-2, IL-4 and gamma-IFN levels were very low and more severely affected in the depressed aged group. Each cytokine production was negatively correlated with age and depression score. NK activity was lower in the aged and it could be augmented by the addition of IL-2 or alpha-IFN, even though to a lesser extent than in the adult subjects. The nondepressed aged displayed higher levels of IL-2 inducible NK activity than the depressed aged subjects. IL-2 and alpha-IFN stimulated NK activities were negatively correlated with depression score. The present work indicates that the psychological status could affect lymphocyte reactivity in the aged. Given the relatively high frequency of affective disorders in these subjects, the psychological status should be considered in studies of immune senescence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center