Changes in circulating B cells and immunoglobulin classes and subclasses in a healthy aged population

Clin Exp Immunol. 1992 Nov;90(2):351-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1992.tb07954.x.


The study of 87 adults of different ages, including 15 centenarians, selected for their healthy status, showed that profound changes of humoral immunity occur throughout life. In particular, a statistically significant age-related increase of the serum level of immunoglobulin classes (IgG and IgA but not IgM) and IgG subclasses (IgG1, 2 and 3, but not IgG4) was detected. A parallel age-related decrease of circulating B cells was also observed. The hypothesis of a complex derangement of B cell function and/or compartmentalization with age is put forward, together with the proposal that healthy centenarians (as representative of successful ageing) may be helpful in identifying the physiological age-related modifications of the immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / metabolism*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis


  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes