Review Article | Published:

Understanding immunosenescence to improve responses to vaccines

Nature Immunology volume 14, pages 428436 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

In the older adult, the benefits of vaccination to prevent infectious disease are limited, mainly because of the adaptive immune system's inability to generate protective immunity. The age-dependent decrease in immunological competence, often referred to as 'immunosenescence', results from the progressive deterioration of innate and adaptive immune responses. Most insights into mechanisms of immunological aging have been derived from studies of mouse models. In this Review, we explore how well such models are applicable to understanding the aging process throughout the 80–100 years of human life and discuss recent advances in identifying and characterizing the mechanisms that underlie age-associated defective adaptive immunity in humans.

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Acknowledgements

Supported by the US National Institutes of Health (U19-AI057266, U19-AI090019, U01-AI089859 to J.J.G. and R01-AR042527, R01-AI44142, R01-EY011916 and P01-HL058000 to C.M.W.).

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Affiliations

  1. The Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.

    • Jörg J Goronzy
    •  & Cornelia M Weyand
  2. Department of Medicine, Palo Alto Veteran Administration Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA.

    • Jörg J Goronzy
    •  & Cornelia M Weyand

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Jörg J Goronzy.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.2588

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