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J Clin Invest. 2011 Dec;121(12):4636-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI61367. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Slowing down with age: lung DCs do it too.

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Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.


Decline in immune function with age has been attributed to defects or alterations in both the innate and the adaptive immune system. In this issue of the JCI, Zhao and coworkers provide evidence for a novel mechanism of immune dysfunction in aging mice. They show that migration of respiratory DCs from the site of virus replication to the draining lymph nodes in response to infection with several different respiratory viruses is markedly diminished with increasing age. The impaired DC migration was a result of increased levels of the lipid mediator prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)) in the respiratory tract with age and could be partially reversed by blockade of PGD(2) synthesis or action.

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