Study of T Cell Immunosenescence in Various Tissue Compartments

  • Michelle Miron
  • Joseph J. C. Thome
  • Claire L. Gordon
  • Donna L. Farber
Living reference work entry


Age-associated changes in the human immune response are largely attributed to alterations in T cell function and maintenance; however, most studies of human immunosenescence derive from the sampling of human blood, while the majority of T cells are noncirculating and reside in tissue sites. Discussed in this chapter is how human T cell development, differentiation, and maintenance are highly compartmentalized in distinct tissue sites: T cell development occurs in the thymus, new thymic emigrants populate lymphoid sites where they are initially primed. Activated T cells subsequently leave lymphoid tissue and migrate to mucosal and other peripheral tissues, and specific memory T cell subsets migrate through circulation, lymphoid, and/or peripheral tissues, or take up residence in multiple sites. Throughout life, each type of tissue site exhibits distinct kinetics and qualitative changes with age, with the extent of T cell aging related to the specific anatomic location. These site-specific effects of age on the T cell response have important implications for understanding changes in the immune response to infections and vaccination with age, and how persistent infections can impact T cell homeostasis in tissues with aging.


T cells Aging Lymphoid tissue Mucosal tissues Thymus Bone marrow Infection Vaccination Immunotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Miron
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseph J. C. Thome
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claire L. Gordon
    • 1
    • 4
  • Donna L. Farber
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Columbia Center for Translational ImmunologyColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tamas Fulop
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center on Aging, Department of Medicine, Immunology Graduate Programme, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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