Ageing impairs the T cell response to dendritic cells

J. You, H. Dong, E.R. Mann, S.C. Knight, P. Yaqoob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical in priming adaptive T-cell responses, but the effects of ageing on interactions between DCs and T cells are unclear. This study investigated the influence of ageing on the maturation of and cytokine production by human blood-enriched DCs, and the impact on T cell responses in an allogeneic mixed leucocyte reaction (MLR). DCs from old subjects (65–75 y) produced significantly less TNF-α and IFN-γ than young subjects (20–30 y) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but expression of maturation markers and co-stimulatory molecules was preserved. In the MLR, DCs from older subjects induced significantly restricted proliferation of young T cells, activation of CD8+ T cells and expression of IL-12 and IFN-γ in T cells compared with young DCs. T cells from older subjects responded more weakly to DC stimulation compared with young T cells, regardless of whether the DCs were derived from young or older subjects. In conclusion, the capacity of DCs to induce T cell activation is significantly impaired by ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1084
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Early online date1 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Cytokine
  • Dendritic cells
  • Mixed leucocyte reaction
  • T cell activation


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