Homeostasis and function of regulatory T cells in aging

Division of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
Current opinion in immunology (Impact Factor: 7.87). 05/2012; 24(4):482-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.coi.2012.04.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A hallmark of aging is the progressive deterioration of immune function. Age-related immune suppression increases susceptibility to infectious diseases and cancer, significant causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. In particular, age-related T cell dysfunction is a major contributor to 'immune-senescence'. Recently, it has become clear that the frequency of regulatory T cells (Treg) significantly increases in aged mice and humans. As Treg control the intensity of T cell responses, their accrual probably contributes to age-related immune dysfunction. This review will focus on mechanisms underlying Treg homeostasis and function in aging.

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