Deterioration of cellular immunity during aging. The relationship between age-dependent impairment of delayed-type hypersensitivity reactivity, interleukin-2 production capacity, and frequency of Thy-1+,Lyt-2- cells in C57BL/Ka and CBA/Rij mice
Vissinga, C.S.; Dirven, C.J.; Steinmeyer, F.A.; Benner, R.; Boersma, W.J.
Cellular Immunology 108(2): 323-334
The effect of aging on the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in vivo and the interleukin-2 (IL-2) production capacity in vitro by spleen cells from young (17 weeks) and old (125 weeks) CBA/Rij and C57BL/Ka mice were investigated. For both CBA/Rij and C57BL/Ka mice an age-related decline in the DTH response to SRBC and the IL-2 production capacity was observed. Both parameters are mediated by Thy-1+,Lyt-2- spleen cells. For both mouse strains the proportion of Thy-1+,Lyt-2- spleen cells declined less strongly with aging than the DTH reactivity and the IL-2 production capacity. From this it was concluded that not on a quantitative but also a qualitative decrease of T-cell funciton occurs during senescence. It was also investigated whether the proportion of Thy-1+,Lyt-2- peripheral blood lymphocytes can be used as a predictive value with regard to the decline of DTH with aging of the corresponding mouse. This was indeed found to be the case in CBA/Rij mice, but not in C57BL mice.