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

Herndler-Brandstetter,D.; Landgraf,K.; Tzankov,A.; Jenewein,B.; Brunauer,R.; Laschober,G.T.; Parson,W.; Kloss,F.; Gassner,R.; Lepperdinger,G.; Grubeck-Loebenstein,B.
Recently, the 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 naive and an increase in T(EM) cells. In contrast to the 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 cells 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
J.Leukoc.Biol. 2012 91(2):197-205
Tags: ACTIVATION; aged; Aging; Austria; Bone Marrow; cell; Cytokines; DIFFERENTIATION; human; impact; in vitro; Memory; Phenotype; population
PubMed: 22013229
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