Gerontology. 2019 Sep 25:1-9. Epub 2019 Sep 25. PMID: 31553969
Inflammation and the Alteration of B-Cell Physiology in Aging.
Aging results for the immune system in a departure from the optimal homeostatic state seen in young organisms. This divergence regrettably contributes to a higher frequency of compromised responses to infections and inefficient classical vaccination in aged populations. In B cells, the cornerstone of humoral immunity, the development and distribution of the various mature B cell subsets are impacted by aging in both humans and mice. In addition, aged mature B cells demonstrate limited capacity to mount efficient antibody responses. An expected culprit for the decline in effective immunity is the rise of the systemic levels of pro-inflammatory molecules during aging, establishing a chronic low-grade inflammation. Indeed, numerous alterations affecting directly or indirectly B cells in old people and mice are reminiscent of various effects of acute inflammation on this cell type in young adults. The present mini-review will highlight the possible adverse contributions of the persistent low-level inflammation observed in susceptible older organisms to the inadequate B-cell physiology.