Homeostasis and function of regulatory T cells in aging

Curr Opin Immunol. 2012 Aug;24(4):482-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 May 5.


A hallmark of aging is the progressive deterioration of immune function. Age-related immune suppression increases susceptibility to infectious diseases and cancer, significant causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. In particular, age-related T cell dysfunction is a major contributor to 'immune-senescence'. Recently, it has become clear that the frequency of regulatory T cells (Treg) significantly increases in aged mice and humans. As Treg control the intensity of T cell responses, their accrual probably contributes to age-related immune dysfunction. This review will focus on mechanisms underlying Treg homeostasis and function in aging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*