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Mech Ageing Dev. 2008 May;129(5):271-81. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Feb 17.

Mucosal adjuvant activity of flagellin in aged mice.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


We evaluated the ability of flagellin, a highly effective mucosal adjuvant in mice and non-human primates, to promote mucosal innate and adaptive immunity in aged mice. We found that intratracheal instillation of flagellin induced a stronger respiratory innate response in aged mice than in young mice, and that intranasal instillation of flagellin was equally effective at triggering recruitment of T and B lymphocytes to the draining lymph nodes of young and aged mice. Intranasal immunization of aged mice with flagellin and the Yersinia pestis protein F1 promoted specific IgG and IgA production, but at lower levels and lower avidities than in young mice. Although intranasal instillation of flagellin and F1 antigen increased germinal center formation and size in young mice, it did not do so in aged mice. Our findings are consistent with the conclusion that flagellin can promote adaptive immune responses in aged mice, but at a less robust level than in young mice.

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