Biogerontology

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 389–400

Changes with ageing in several leukocyte functions of male and female rats

  • Mónica De La Fuente
  • Isabel Baeza
  • Noelia Guayerbas
  • Marta Puerto
  • Carmen Castillo
  • Veronica Salazar
  • Carmen Ariznavarreta
  • Jesus A. F-tresguerres
Research Article

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

Chemotaxis index

ConA

Concanavalin A

IL-2

Interleuquin 2

MHC

major histocompatibility complex

IL-2

Interleuquin 2

MHC

major histocompatibility complex

MC

male control

NK

Natural Killer

NO

non-ovariectomized

O

ovariectomized

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mónica De La Fuente
    • 1
  • Isabel Baeza
    • 1
  • Noelia Guayerbas
    • 1
  • Marta Puerto
    • 1
  • Carmen Castillo
    • 2
  • Veronica Salazar
    • 2
  • Carmen Ariznavarreta
    • 2
  • Jesus A. F-tresguerres
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Biological SciencesComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineComplutense UniversityMadridSpain

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