Age-dependent dysregulation of innate immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2013 Dec;13(12):875-87. doi: 10.1038/nri3547. Epub 2013 Oct 25.


As we age, the innate immune system becomes dysregulated and is characterized by persistent inflammatory responses that involve multiple immune and non-immune cell types and that vary depending on the cell activation state and tissue context. This ageing-associated basal inflammation, particularly in humans, is thought to be induced by several factors, including the reactivation of latent viral infections and the release of endogenous damage-associated ligands of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Innate immune cell functions that are required to respond to pathogens or vaccines, such as cell migration and PRR signalling, are also impaired in aged individuals. This immune dysregulation may affect conditions associated with chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism


  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition