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Accession IconGSE32725

The impact of aging on memory T cell phenotype and function in the human bone marrow

Organism Icon Homo sapiens
Sample Icon 4 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array (hgu133plus2)

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Recently, the bone marrow (BM) has been shown to play a key role in regulating the survival and function of memory T cells. However, the impact of aging on these processes has not yet been studied. We demonstrate that the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the BM is maintained during aging. However, the composition of the T cell pool in the aged BM is altered with a decline of nave and an increase in effector-memory T cells. In contrast to the peripheral blood (PB), a highly activated CD8+CD28 T cell population, which lacks the late differentiation marker CD57, accumulates in the BM of elderly persons. IL-6 and IL-15, which are both increased in the aged BM, efficiently induce the activation, proliferation and differentiation of CD8+ T cell in vitro, highlighting a role of these cytokines in the age-dependent accumulation of highly activated CD8+CD28 T cells in the BM. Yet, these age-related changes do not impair the maintenance of a high number of polyfunctional memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the BM of elderly persons. In summary, aging leads to the accumulation of a highly activated CD8+CD28 T cell population in the BM, which is driven by the age-related increase of IL-6 and IL-15. Despite these changes, the aged BM is a rich source of polyfunctional memory T cells and may thus represent an important line of defense to fight recurrent infections in old age.
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