The Aging Immune System: Primer and Prospectus

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Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 70-74
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.70


Changes in T lymphocyte populations underlie much of the age-related decline in the protective immune response. Aging leads to the replacement of virgin T cells by memory T cells and to the accumulation of cells with signal transduction defects. Studies of antibody gene assembly, accessory cell function, post-thymic T cell development, skewed selection of T cell receptor repertoire, and the clinical concomitants of immune senescence will shed new light on the causes and consequences of age-dependent immune failure.

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