Humoral immune response and B-cell functions including immunoglobulin class switch are downregulated in aged mice and humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vaccinations are powerful tools for combating infections. Because of the age-related impairment in immune functions, the currently available vaccines are protecting only a small proportion of the elderly population. We, here, provide an overview of age-related changes in innate and adaptive immunity with particular emphasis to changes in antibody production with aging. We also summarize our results showing that the E2A-encoded transcription factor E47, which regulates many B cell functions including class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM), is downregulated in splenic B cells from old mice. This leads to a reduction in the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which directly induces CSR and SHM, and, in turn, to reduced amounts of switched antibodies produced by splenic activated B cells. Our preliminary results in humans indicate similar reductions: we show herein that the expression of E2A and AID progressively decline with age. Our results provide a possible molecular basis for a decrease in the humoral immune response in aging mice and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Aging
  • B cells
  • Isotype switch
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology

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