Published in

Oxford University Press (OUP), Journals of Gerontology, Series A, 5(69), p. 495-504

DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glt120

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Evidence for less marked potential signs of T-cell immunosenescence in centenarian offspring than in the general age-matched population

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Abstract

People may reach the upper limits of the human life span at least partly because they have maintained more appropriate immune function, avoiding changes to immunity termed "immunosenescence." Exceptionally long-lived people may be enriched for genes that contribute to their longevity, some of which may bear on immune function. Centenarian offspring would be expected to inherit some of these, which might be reflected in their resistance to immunosenescence, and contribute to their potential longevity. We have tested this hypothesis by comparing centenarian offspring with age-matched controls. We report differences in the numbers and proportions of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) early- and late-differentiated T cells, as well as potentially senescent CD8(+) T cells, suggesting that the adaptive T-cell arm of the immune system is more "youthful" in centenarian offspring than controls. This might reflect a superior ability to mount effective responses against newly encountered antigens and thus contribute to better protection against infection and to greater longevity.