The Role of Immunosenescence in the Development of Age-Related Diseases

Rev Invest Clin. 2016 Mar-Apr;68(2):84-91.


Aging is a complex phenomenon leading to numerous changes in the physiological systems of the body. One of the most important changes, called immunosenescence, occurs in the immune system. Immunosenescence covers changes in the innate and the adaptive immune systems and is associated with a low-grade inflammation called inflammaging. Aging, likely via inflammaging, is also associated with the emergence of chronic diseases including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and diabetes mellitus type 2. The origin of this inflammaging is not known with certainty, but several concurrent contributing factors have been suggested, such as aging-associated changes in the innate and adaptive immune response, chronic antigenic stimulation, the appearance of endogenous macromolecular changes, and the presence of senescent cells exhibiting a senescence-associated secretory phenotype. A better understanding of the multiple biological phenomena leading to these diseases via the immunosenescence associated with inflammaging provides a powerful target for interventions to increase the healthspan of elderly subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology
  • Aged
  • Aging / immunology
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Immunosenescence / immunology
  • Immunosenescence / physiology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*