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Age-related differences in integrin expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes

Author(s): Crooks Christine | Cross Martin | Wall Clare

Journal: Immunity & Ageing
ISSN 1742-4933

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Alpha integrins play an important role in cell to cell and cell to extra-cellular matrix interactions required for an effective T-lymphocyte-mediated immune response, however little is known about age related differences in expression of alpha integrins on T-cells in humans. We here measured alpha-4 (α4) integrin (CD49d) expression on T-lymphocytes via peripheral blood sampling, comparing parameters between cohorts of young and old adults. No age-related differences were found for the absolute numbers of T-cells, although the percentage of CD4+ T-cells in older adults was significantly greater and the percentage of CD8+ T-cells lower than in younger cohorts. Percentage and absolute numbers of CD3+ T-cells co-expressing CD49d were significantly lower in older adults compared to younger cohorts, and the percentage of gated CD4+ and CD8+ cells that co-labelled positively for CD49d was also reduced in this group. There were no age-related differences in circulating levels of cytokines (Type I interferons) that are known to regulate cell surface integrin expression. Reduced expression of alpha integrins on T-cells may be an early indicator of the loss of homeostatic control that occurs with ageing, contributing to diminished effector T-cell responses during senescence.
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