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γ/δ T cell subsets in human aging using the classical α/β T cell model.

Research paper by Anusha A Vasudev, Crystal Tan Tze CT Ying, Shamini S Ayyadhury, Kia Joo KJ Puan, Anand Kumar AK Andiappan, Ma Shwe Zin MS Nyunt, Nurhidaya Binte NB Shadan, Seri S Mustafa, Ivy I Low, Olaf O Rotzschke, Tamas T Fulop, Tze Pin TP Ng, Anis A Larbi

Indexed on: 09 Jul '14Published on: 09 Jul '14Published in: Journal of leukocyte biology



Abstract

Aging is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections and diseases. It has also been associated with reduced functionality and altered distribution of immune cells, especially T cells. Whereas classical α/β T cells, especially CD8(+) T cells, were shown to be highly susceptible to aging, the effects of viral persistent stimulations on the fate of γ/δ T cells are much less documented. Healthy, elderly individuals of Chinese ethnical background were recruited under the aegis of SLAS-II. In this observational study, γ/δ T cell populations were characterized by flow cytometry and compared with the α/β CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in elderly and young controls. In our study, we identified a reduced frequency of γ/δ T cells but not α/β T cells with aging. The classical markers of α/β T cell aging, including CD28, CD27, and CD57, did not prove significant for γ/δ T cells. The extreme range of expression of these markers in γ/δ T cells was responsible for the lack of relationship between γ/δ T cell subsets, CD4/CD8 ratio, and anti-CMV titers that was significant for α/β T cells and, especially, CD8(+) T cells. Although markers of aging for γ/δ T cells are not clearly identified, our data collectively suggest that the presence of CD27 γ/δ T cells is associated with markers of α/β T cell aging.