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Comparative Study
, 130 (10), 681-90

A Double-Negative (IgD-CD27-) B Cell Population Is Increased in the Peripheral Blood of Elderly People

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Comparative Study

A Double-Negative (IgD-CD27-) B Cell Population Is Increased in the Peripheral Blood of Elderly People

Giuseppina Colonna-Romano et al. Mech Ageing Dev.

Abstract

The T cell branch of the immune system has been extensively studied in the elderly and it is known that the elderly have impaired immune function, mainly due to the chronic antigenic load that ultimately causes shrinkage of the T cell repertoire and filling of the immunologic space with memory T cells. In the present paper, we describe the IgD(-)CD27(-) double-negative B cell population which (as we have recently described) is higher in the elderly. Most of these cells were IgG(+). Evaluation of the telomere length and expression of the ABCB1 transporter and anti-apoptotic molecule, Bcl2, shows that they have the markers of memory B cells. We also show that these cells do not act as antigen presenting cells, as indicated by the low levels of CD80 and DR, nor do they express significant levels of the CD40 molecule necessary to interact with T lymphocytes through the ligand, CD154. Hence, we hypothesize that these expanded cells are late memory or exhausted cells that have down-modulated the expression of CD27 and filled the immunologic space in the elderly. These cells might be the age-related manifestation of time-enduring stimulation or dysregulation of the immune system.

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