The relationship between advanced age and immunologic deficits is becoming an area of rapidly advancing research. Many of the clinical hurdles in the elderly population result from dysregulation of the immune system leading to the inability of the elderly to swiftly combat infection and to the increased incidence of chronic disease states and autoimmune conditions. Herein, we address the crucial alterations in the innate immune system that occur with advancing age. Specifically, we discuss how the effects of advanced age may lead to functional changes in the neutrophil, macrophage, dendritic cell, natural killer cell, and natural killer T cell populations in human and murine models that translate into aberrant innate immune responses. Furthermore, we elucidate how these changes may contribute to documented deficits in adaptive immunity as well as the pathological conditions and the increased morbidity and mortality seen in the elderly population.
Keywords: Aging, innate immunity, neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, Innate Immune System, immune system, autoimmune, Specifically, dendritic cell, natural killer cell, natural killer T cell, neutrophil, adaptive immunity, vaccination, influenza, diseases, neoplasia, cytokines, IL-6, IL-1, tumor, T lymphocyte, chemokines, type I interferons, eosinophils, basophils, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PMNs, reactive oxygen species, elastase, cathepsins, matrix metallopeptidase-9, PRRs, PAMPs, fMLP, TLR, GM-CSF, VEGF, TNF, C. albicans, S. pneumoniae, ROS, PI3K/Akt, cAMP/PKA, LPS, myeloperoxidase, inflammation, Kupffer cells, CD4 T cells, M-CSF, IFN, major histocompatibility complex, phosphorylation, reactive nitrogen species, CD68, janus kinase, cyclooxygenase, nuclear factor-B, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, hepatic necrosis
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