Age-related decline of human interferon alpha and interferon gamma production

Blut. 1984 May;48(5):285-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00320399.


The influence of donor age on the production of interferon (IFN) alpha and IFN gamma by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro has been studied. The results demonstrate an age-related decline of the capacity to synthesize and secrete antiviral activity. Yields of virus-induced IFN alpha and lectin-induced IFN gamma were significantly decreased in mononuclear cell cultures from older subjects (greater than 50 years) when compared to those of younger subjects (less than 50 years). The observed deficiency of IFN production may be involved in the increased susceptibility of aged humans to viral infections and malignant diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Humans
  • Interferon Inducers / physiology
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Orthomyxoviridae
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / immunology


  • Interferon Inducers
  • Interferon Type I
  • Interferon-gamma