Reversing the immune ageing clock: lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions

Biogerontology. 2018 Dec;19(6):481-496. doi: 10.1007/s10522-018-9771-7. Epub 2018 Sep 29.


It is widely accepted that ageing is accompanied by remodelling of the immune system, including reduced numbers of naïve T cells, increased senescent or exhausted T cells, compromise to monocyte, neutrophil and natural killer cell function and an increase in systemic inflammation. In combination these changes result in increased risk of infection, reduced immune memory, reduced immune tolerance and immune surveillance, with significant impacts upon health in old age. More recently it has become clear that the rate of decline in the immune system is malleable and can be influenced by environmental factors such as physical activity as well as pharmacological interventions. This review discusses briefly our current understanding of immunesenescence and then focuses on lifestyle interventions and therapeutic strategies that have been shown to restore immune functioning in aged individuals.

Keywords: Ageing; Immunesenescence; Inflammaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Immunosenescence*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Interleukins / therapeutic use
  • Life Style*
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Interleukins
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases