Aging is a complex process that negatively impacts the development of the immune system and its ability to function. Progressive changes in the T and B cell systems over the life spanhave a major impact on the capacity to respond to immune challenge. These cumulative ageassociated changes in immune competence are termed immunosenescence. This process ismostly characterized by: (1) shrinkage of the T cell repertoire and accumulation of oligoclonal expansions of memory/effector cells directed toward ubiquitary infectious agents; (2) involution of the thymus and the exhaustion of naive T cells; and (3) chronic inflammatory status. Here we discuss possible strategies to counteract these main aspects of immunosenescence, in particular the role of the normalization of intestinal microflora by probiotics. A better understanding of immunosenescence and the development of new strategies to counteract it areessential for improving the quality of life of the elderly population.
|Numero di pagine||8|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2008|
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