Age carries a detrimental impact on T cell function. In the past decade, analyses of the genome-scale transcriptional changes of T cells during aging have yielded a large amount of data and provided a global view of gene expression changes in T cells from aged hosts as well as subsets of T cells accumulated with age. Here, we aim to review the changes of gene expression in thymocytes and peripheral mature T cells, as well as the subsets of T cells accumulated with age, and discuss the gene networks and signaling pathways that are altered with aging in T cells. We also discuss future direction for furthering the understanding of the molecular basis of gene expression alterations in aged T cells, which could potentially provide opportunities for gene-based clinical interventions.
Keywords: CD28− T cells; T cells; aging; naïve and memory T cells; thymocytes.