Article: article from journal or magazin.
The aged lymphoid tissue environment fails to support naïve T cell homeostasis.
Aging is associated with a gradual loss of naïve T cells and a reciprocal increase in the proportion of memory T cells. While reduced thymic output is important, age-dependent changes in factors supporting naïve T cells homeostasis may also be involved. Indeed, we noted a dramatic decrease in the ability of aged mice to support survival and homeostatic proliferation of naïve T cells. The defect was not due to a reduction in IL-7 expression, but from a combination of changes in the secondary lymphoid environment that impaired naïve T cell entry and access to key survival factors. We observed an age-related shift in the expression of homing chemokines and structural deterioration of the stromal network in T cell zones. Treatment with IL-7/mAb complexes can restore naïve T cell homeostatic proliferation in aged mice. Our data suggests that homeostatic mechanisms that support the naïve T cell pool deteriorate with age.
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