Aging of the innate immune system

AC Shaw, S Joshi, Hannah Greenwood, A Panda, Janet Lord

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

368 Citations (Scopus)


The innate immune system is composed of a network of cells including neutrophils, NK and NKT cells, monocytes/macrophages, and dendritic cells that mediate the earliest interactions with pathogens. Age-associated defects are observed in the activation of all of these cell types, linked to compromised signal transduction pathways including the Toll-like Receptors. However, aging is also characterized by a constitutive pro-inflammatory environment (inflamm-aging) with persistent low-grade innate immune activation that may augment tissue damage caused by infections in elderly individuals. Thus, immunosenescence in the innate immune system appears to reflect dysregulation, rather than exclusively impaired function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


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