Effect of aging on T lymphocyte activation

Vaccine. 2000 Feb 25;18(16):1654-60. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(99)00502-2.


Studies of the early stages of T-cell activation reveal that T cells from aged mice show multiple abnormalities within the first few minutes after stimulation, including decline in the activation of the Raf-1/MEK/ERK kinases and in JNK protein kinase. Zap-70 kinase associated with the CD3zeta chain shows a 2-fold increase with age in resting CD4 T cells, despite a three-fold decline with age in the levels of tyrosine phosphorylation of CD3zeta; nonetheless, there is no effect of aging on Zap-70 kinase function in activated T cells as measured by in vitro kinase methods. Age-related impairment of the translocation of PKCθ from cytoplasm to the site of T-cell interaction with antigen-presenting cells may underlie downstream defects in the activation cascade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / immunology
  • Antigens
  • CD3 Complex / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase


  • Antigens
  • CD3 Complex
  • Isoenzymes
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase
  • ZAP70 protein, human
  • Zap70 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • PRKCQ protein, human
  • Prkcq protein, mouse
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases