The neutrophil recombinatorial TCR-like immune receptor is expressed across the entire human life span but repertoire diversity declines in old age

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Mar 9;419(2):309-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.02.017. Epub 2012 Feb 11.


Recent evidence has revealed the existence of T cell receptor (TCR) αβ-based recombinatorial immune receptors in phagocytes. Here, we performed a systematic survey of the variable β-chain repertoires of the neutrophil TCR-like αβ immunoreceptor (referred to as TCRL(n)αβ) in defined cohorts of young and old individuals. Peripheral blood CD15(+) neutrophils from young adults (age 30 ± 7 years, n=12) expressed an average number of 13 ± 6 distinct TCRL(n) Vβ-chains from the total pool of 25 human Vβ-chains. Neutrophils from aged subjects (age 76 ± 6 years, n=12) also consitutively express the TCRL(n), however, only a small number of Vβ-chains is used (4 ± 2). Consistent with this, the average number of expressed CDR3 Vβ length variants was fourfold higher in young individuals than in aged subjects (33 ± 24 vs. 8 ± 3). Young adults showed broad usage of all TCRL(n) Vβ-chains. In contrast, >70years individuals displayed a striking repertoire polarization towards the TCRL(n) Vβ1 and Vβ5b chains and a high degree of Vβ5b clonotype sharing. Our study reveals broad TCRL(n) repertoire diversity in young adults and demonstrates that the neutrophil variable immune receptor is expressed throughout the entire human life span. The marked decline in TCRL(n) repertoire diversity in old age identifies a novel mechanism of immunosenescence in neutrophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Longevity / immunology*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • V(D)J Recombination
  • Young Adult


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta