Age-dependent changes in thymic macrophages and dendritic cells

Microsc Res Tech. 2003 Dec 15;62(6):501-7. doi: 10.1002/jemt.10411.


Aging is characterized by the decline and deregulation of several physiological systems, especially the immune system. The involution of the thymus gland has been identified as one of the key events that precedes the age-related decline in immune function. Whereas the decrease in thymocyte numbers and in the thymic output during thymus atrophy has been analyzed by various authors, very little information is available about the age-associated modifications in thymic macrophages and dendritic cells. Here we present evidence that these thymic stromal cell components are only slightly affected by age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / physiology