Zinc, Immunity, and Aging

Conference paper
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


A good body of experimental and clinical evidence supports the idea that, with advancing age, the immune system undergoes a progressive deterioration of efficiency and that such a decline largely depends on the involution of the thymus, this phenomenon being considered one of the earliest and irreversible age-related events (Walford, 1969). With advancing age, the thymus shows a progressive decline in function, as demonstrated by the reduced size of the organ, by hystological evidence of hypotrophy of the cortex with frequent corticomedullary inversion (G. Goldstein and Mackay, 1969) and by the reduced plasma level of thymic hormones such as thymosin ∝1 (McClure et al., 1982), thymopoietin (Lewis et al., 1978), and the facteur timique sérique (FTS), more recently called thymulin in its zinc-bound active form (J. F. Bach et al., 1972; Fabris et al., 1984).


Zinc Deficiency Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Zinc Supplementation Luteinizing Hormone Release Hormone 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gerontology Research DepartmentItalian National Research Center on AgingAnconaItaly

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