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Hum Immunol. 1983 Aug;7(4):187-203.

HLA and T-lymphocyte function in old age.


The role of the major histocompatibility complex in the genetic control of reactivity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (T lymphocytes) to lectins and allogeneic cells as a function of age was investigated. In randomly selected aged subjects the frequencies of HLA-A, B, and some C locus alleles did not differ significantly from those in the control group. However, some tendencies of haplotype frequency differences between young and aged subjects were found. Significant associations of impaired or preserved T-lymphocyte function could be detected in connection with some HLA-A (A3, A11) antigens only. The tendency of some phenotypic HLA-A and B or C and B antigen associations to be in correlation with impaired or preserved T-lymphocyte reactivity in old age seemed to be independent of their age-related frequency differences. In family studies of a partially inbred Hungarian population, differences were found in the rate of diminution of allogeneic reactivity in groups sharing different HLA haplotypes. Based on statistical analysis of these data, a genetic factor segregating with the MHC and taking part in the regulation of the age-dependent decline of T-lymphocyte reactivity can be postulated.

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