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Indian J Med Res. 2013 Nov;138(5):595-608.

T cell ageing: effects of age on development, survival & function.

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National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India.


Age associated decline of the immune system continues to be a major health concern. All components of innate and adaptive immunity are adversely affected to lesser or greater extent by ageing resulting in an overall decline of immunocompetence. As a result in the aged population, there is increased susceptibility to infection, poor responses to vaccination, and increased incidence of autoreactivity. There is an increasing focus on the role of T cells during ageing because of their impact on the overall immune responses. A steady decline in the production of fresh naïve T cells, more restricted T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire and weak activation of T cells are some of the effects of ageing. In this review we summarize our present understanding of the effects of ageing on naïve CD4 T cells and potential approaches for therapeutic interventions to restore protective immunity in the aged population.

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