Cytokine Expression and Production Changes in Very Old Age

  • Susan E. McNerlan
  • Marilyn Armstrong
  • Owen A. Ross
  • I. Maeve Rea

Ageing is associated with various changes in immune parameters, alterations in lymphocyte subsets and cytokine dysregulation (Cossarizza et al. 1997). Cytokines are central to the regulation of the immune-inflammatory response in old age and so perhaps play a pivitol role in ageing and survival. But whether these alterations in cytokine expression and production are the secret of long life or are an indication of underlying disease, even in the apparently healthy, is uncertain. While studies of cytokine gene polymorphisms suggest that certain cytokine genotypes are associated with long life (Rea et al. 2006), cytokine levels have also been associated with various age-related diseases (Forsey et al. 2003). Studies of these parameters in very elderly subjects, i.e., those who have aged successfully, are perhaps the most useful in determining the key to longevity.


Elderly Subject Young Control Human Longevity Cytokine Gene Polymorphism InCHIANTI Study 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan E. McNerlan
    • 1
  • Marilyn Armstrong
    • 2
  • Owen A. Ross
    • 3
  • I. Maeve Rea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geriatric Medicine School of Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical SciencesQueen’s UniversityBelfastUK
  2. 2.School of Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical SciencesQueen’s UniversityBelfast
  3. 3.Mayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA

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