Ageing is a complex process characterized by a general decline in physiological functions with increasing morbidity and mortality. The most important aspect of ageing is the chronic inflammatory status, named âinflamm-ageingâ, strictly associated with the deterioration of the immune function, termed âimmunosenescenceâ. Both are causes of increased susceptibility of elderly to infectious diseases, cancer, dementia, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmunity, and of a decreased response to vaccination. It has been widely demonstrated that ageing has a strong impact on the remodelling of the B cell branch of immune system. The first evident effect is the significant decrease in circulating B cells, primarily due to the reduction of new B cell coming from bone marrow (BM) progenitors, as inflammation directly impacts on B lymphopoiesis. Besides, in aged individuals, there is a shift from naÃ¯ve to memory immunoglobulins production, accompanied by the impaired ability to produce high affinity protective antibodies against newly encountered antigens. This is accompanied by the increase of expanded clones of B cells, which correlates with poor health status. Age-related modifications also occur in naÃ¯ve/memory B cells subsets. Indeed, in the elderly, there is a reduction of naÃ¯ve B cells, accompanied by the expansion of memory B cells that show a senescence-associated phenotype. Finally, elderly show the impaired ability of memory B cells to differentiate into plasma cells. It can be concluded that inflammation is the leading cause of the age-related impairment of B cell compartment, which play certainly a key role in the development of age-related diseases. This makes study of B cells in the aged an important tool for monitoring immunosenescence, chronic inflammatory disorders and the effectiveness of vaccines or pharmacological therapies.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Ageing Research Reviews|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology