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Suppressor Cells in Aging

  • Richard K. Gershon
  • Charles M. Metzler
Part of the Comprehensive Immunology book series (COMIMUN, volume 1)

Abstract

It is well known that after a certain optimal age the immune system declines in function. This is not particularly surprising since the lymphoid system is not unique in showing declining function with age. What strikes some people as paradoxical is that this decline is often accompanied by an increase in autoantibody production. However, with the general recognition in the past few years that there are subsets of T cells which act to suppress the immune response, a hypothesis linking declining T cell function with increasing autoantibody production has gained acceptance in some circles. The apparent paradox could be resolved by hypothesizing that the increase in autoantibody production is the result of a decrease in suppressor T cell function. Support for this thesis has been found in the observation that athymic nude mice have more autoantibodies than do their littermate controls which have a thymus (Morse et al., 1974). Further support has been gleaned from studies on the NZB mouse, which have been interpreted to indicate that the autoantibody production that these mice are famous for is associated with a loss of suppressor T cell function (Steinberg et al., 1975; Talal and Steinberg, 1974).

Keywords

Suppressor Cell Delay Type Hypersensitivity Autoantibody Production Immunological Tolerance Helper Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard K. Gershon
    • 1
  • Charles M. Metzler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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