Innate immunity and aging

Exp Gerontol. 2008 Aug;43(8):718-28. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2008.05.016. Epub 2008 Jun 11.


Advanced age is associated with defects in all of the cells of the innate immune system, including numbers, function, and early stages of activation. This review, presents the current state of the field on the impact of age on the innate immune system. The analysis of the literature suggests that a dysfunctional innate immune system is a contributing factor to aberrant outcomes after injury or infection and to the development of many of the diseases observed in the elderly. Gaining an understanding of the nature of the defects in innate immune cells may allow the development of therapeutic strategies aimed to restore innate immune function in aged individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology*
  • Eosinophils / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Neutrophils / immunology