Immunosenescence of Human Natural Killer CellsGayoso I.a · Sanchez-Correa B.b · Campos C.a · Alonso C.a · Pera A.a · Casado J.G.b · Morgado S.b · Tarazona R.b · Solana R.a
aDepartment of Immunology, IMIBIC – Reina Sofia University Hospital, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, and bImmunology Unit, Department of Physiology, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain
Dr. Rafael Solana
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine
Reina Sofia University Hospital, University of Cordoba
ES–14004 Cordoba (Spain)
Tel. +34 957 011 493, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Natural killer (NK) cells are a key component of innate immunity involved not only in the elimination of virus-infected or tumor cells but also in the regulation of the immune response by producing cytokines and chemokines that can activate other cellular components of innate and adaptive immunity. NK cell subsets are differentially affected by aging. Whereas CD56bright cells are decreased in healthy elderly individuals, the CD56dim subset is expanded. The expression of CD57, a marker of highly differentiated NK cells, is increased in the elderly; this supports the notion that a remodeling process of NK cell subsets occurs in aging with a gradual decrease in more immature CD56bright NK cells and an increase in highly differentiated CD56dim CD57+ NK cells. This NK cell redistribution can explain many of the phenotypic and functional changes in NK cells associated with healthy aging such as decreased proliferation and the maintenance of CD16-dependent cytotoxicity.
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