Aging and the mucosal immune system in the intestine

Neil A. Mabbott, Atsushi Kobayashi, Anuj Sehgal, Barry M. Bradford, Mari Pattison, David S. Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bacterial and viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract are more common in the elderly and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The mucosal immune system provides the first line of defence against pathogens acquired by ingestion and inhalation, but its function is adversely affected in the elderly. This aging-related decline in the immune function is termed immunosenescence and is associated with diminished abilities to generate protective immunity, reduced vaccine efficacy, increased incidence of cancer, inflammation and autoimmunity, and the impaired ability to generate tolerance to harmless antigens. In this review we describe our current understanding of the effects immunosenescence has on the innate and adaptive arms of the mucosal immune system in the intestine. Current estimates suggest that by the year 2050 up to 40 % of the UK population will be over 65 years old, bringing with it important health challenges. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to the development of immunosenescence is therefore crucial to help identify novel approaches to improve mucosal immunity in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalBiogerontology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Aging
  • IgA
  • Intestine
  • M cells
  • Mucosal immune system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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  • Cite this

    Mabbott, N. A., Kobayashi, A., Sehgal, A., Bradford, B. M., Pattison, M., & Donaldson, D. S. (2015). Aging and the mucosal immune system in the intestine. Biogerontology, 16(2), 133-145. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-014-9498-z