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Journal of Biomedical Science

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 317–321 | Cite as

Age-associated changes in interferon-γ and interleukin-4 secretion by purified human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells

  • Chung-Jen Yen
  • Shuei-Liong Lin
  • Kuo-Tong Huang
  • Rong-Hwa Lin
Original Paper

Abstract

Aging is associated with a decline in immune function. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4), two important immune deviation-related cytokines, are mainly produced by type 1 and type 2 T cells, respectively. To investigate the age-associated changes in the secretion of these two cytokines, 20 elderly and 20 young subjects fulfilling the SENIEUR protocol were enrolled. The ratios of CD4+ to CD8+ T cells were not different between the two age groups. The CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were purified by a magnetic cell sorting system, and then activated by concurrent anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 stimulation. The released cytokines were determined by ELISA. Both the CD4+ and the CD8+ T cells of the elderly individuals secreted a significantly larger amount of IFN-γ after activation. Profound IL-4 production by CD8+ T cells was observed in the older subjects compared with that of the young subjects. These data suggested that age-associated decrease in immunity may be related to an imbalance in the secretion of immune deviation cytokines. The number of IL-4-secreting CD8+ T cells (T cytotoxic 2) rose significantly in the older individuals. Our design also provided a useful way to differentiate the T cell subsets secreting the same cytokine, such as IFN-γ-producing T helper 1 and T cytotoxic 1 cells.

Key Words

Cytokines Immunosenescence Elderly Lymphocyte subset 

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Copyright information

© National Science Council 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-Jen Yen
    • 1
  • Shuei-Liong Lin
    • 1
  • Kuo-Tong Huang
    • 1
  • Rong-Hwa Lin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineNational Taiwan University HospitalTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Graduate Institute of Immunology College of MedicineNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan (ROC)

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