Aging and Functions of the RES

  • Richard H. Weindruch
  • Roy L. Walford


Among the most striking alterations occurring with aging are those involving the immune apparatus. These alterations are of two different categories and affect thymus-dependent functions to a greater extent than thymus-independent functions. A decreased proliferative and/or functional response capacity to a wide array of exogenous stimuli occurs postpubertally together with an age-dependent increase in autoimmune phenomena. The first category has been amply documented via standard tests including lymphocyte proliferation following mitogen stimulation, mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), humoral immune responses, and T-cell-mediated cytolysis. The second category, though clinically appreciated in its later and grosser expressions, has not been as well studied immunologically due perhaps to a lack of assay systems to measure the apparently subtle losses in self tolerance brought on by normal aging.


Spleen Cell Young Mouse Splenic Cell Thymic Involution Immunological Aspect 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard H. Weindruch
    • 1
  • Roy L. Walford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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