Changes with ageing in several leukocyte functions of male and female rats Research Article Received: 26 March 2004 Accepted: 07 July 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Fuente, M.D.L., Baeza, I., Guayerbas, N. et al. Biogerontology (2004) 5: 389. doi:10.1007/s10522-004-3201-8 Abstract
The impairment of the immune system with aging, or ‘immunosenescence’, appears to contribute to the increased morbidity and mortality of aged subjects. T cell functions and Natural Killer activity seem to be the immune responses most affected by ageing. Since the immune system works more efficiently in females than in males, we have studied the changes of several immune functions with age in rats of both sexes. In addition, we have investigated if ovariectomy, a model of menopause in rats, produces a loss of this gender-related advantage. In the present work, the changes with age (2, 6, 12, 14, 18, 22 and 24 months old) in lymphocyte chemotaxis, T lymphoproliferative response to the mitogen ConA, IL-2 release and Natural Killer activity of cells from axillary nodes and spleen of male and female rats as well as of females ovariectomized at 12 months of age have been studied. An age-related decrease was found in all investigated functions, with a slightly different evolution depending on the immune organ and gender considered. In general, the data obtained show that a certain degree of immunosenescence takes place with age in rats, with males being less immunocompetent than intact age-matched females, but showing an immune response similar to that of ovariectomized animals.
Keywords ageing chemotaxis IL-2 lymphoproliferation Natural Killer activity ovariectomy Abbreviations CI
major histocompatibility complex
major histocompatibility complex
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