Indexed on: 08 Jul '16Published on: 08 Jul '16Published in: Oncotarget
Chronological aging and a variety of stressors are driving forces towards immunosenescence. While much attention was paid to the main T cell component, α/β T cells, few studies concentrate on the impact of age on γ/δ T cells' characteristics. The latter are important players of adaptive immunity but also have features associated with innate immunity. Vδ2+ are the main component of γ/δ while Vδ1+ T cells expand upon Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and with age. The Vδ2+ T cells are not influenced by persistent infections but do contribute to immunosurveillance against bacterial pathogens. Here, we focus on Vδ2+ T cells and report that their composition and functionality is not altered in older adults. We have performed a side-by-side comparison of α/β and Vδ2 cells by using two robust markers of T cell replicative history and cell differentiation (CD28 and CD27), and cytokine secretion (IFN-γ and TNF-α). Significant differences in Vδ2 versus α/β homeostasis, as well as phenotypic and functional changes emerged. However, the data strongly suggest a sustained functionality of the Vδ2 population with age, independently of the challenge. This suggests differential trajectories towards immunosenescence in α/β and Vδ2+ T cells, most likely explained by their intrinsic functions.