Recombinant cytokines as an approach to immune reconstitution in aging

Daniela Frasca, Gino Doria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aging is characterized by a decreased humoral and cell-mediated immunity to a large variety of exogenous antigens and by an increased propensity to autoantibody production, suggesting an age-related disregulation of the immune system. The decline in immune responsiveness to exogenous antigens has been attributed to thymus involution, consisting of a fall in the capacity to induce intrathymic T-cell growth and differentiation, and also to export mature T cells to the periphery. T-cell activation and secretion of soluble factors have been reported to change with aging, but, as with cytokines, the results are conflicting. We investigated the production of IL-2 and IFN-γ (Th1 type) and IL-4 (Th2 type) cytokines by mitogen-activated spleen cells from young, adult and old mice and their regulation by the addition of a recombinant cytokine (IL-1β IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-12, IFN-γ) at varying concentrations. The results indicate that cytokine production can be enhanced only when it is deficient, suggesting the possible use of recombinant cytokines as efficient immunomodulators in age-associated immune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cytokines
  • Th1 cells
  • Th2 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Immunology


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