, 36:9631

Stress, ageing and their influence on functional, cellular and molecular aspects of the immune system


DOI: 10.1007/s11357-014-9631-6

Cite this article as:
Vitlic, A., Lord, J.M. & Phillips, A.C. AGE (2014) 36: 9631. doi:10.1007/s11357-014-9631-6


The immune response is essential for keeping an organism healthy and for defending it from different types of pathogens. It is a complex system that consists of a large number of components performing different functions. The adequate and controlled interaction between these components is necessary for a robust and strong immune response. There are, however, many factors that interfere with the way the immune response functions. Stress and ageing now consistently appear in the literature as factors that act upon the immune system in the way that is often damaging. This review focuses on the role of stress and ageing in altering the robustness of the immune response first separately, and then simultaneously, discussing the effects that emerge from their interplay. The special focus is on the psychological stress and the impact that it has at different levels, from the whole system to the individual molecules, resulting in consequences for physical health.


StressAgeingImmune responseCaregiving

Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Vitlic
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janet M. Lord
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna C. Phillips
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing ResearchUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  3. 3.School of Immunity and InfectionUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK