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Biomarkers of T cell Immunosenescence

We have sought immunological biomarkers of ageing informative in elderly free-living humans. Sets of biomarkers must have predictive value for clinical endpoints: we have selected death as the endpoint in longitudinal studies of people over 80 years old. The panel of biomarkers showing 2, 4, and 6 year predictive value is termed the "Immune Risk Profile", or IRP. It is being constantly refined and tested also on chronologically younger people, as well as patients with cancer and other diseases involving an element of chronic antigenic stress. Modelling T cell clonal expansion and contraction under chronic antigenic stimulation enables us to model these in vivo events, we believe, quite accurately. In vitro interventions using supplements, cytokines, antibodies, as well as genetic engineering approaches, are providing us with tools to eventually intervene in vivo as well, in order to modulate or even ablate immunosenescence, which materially contributes to morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Panels of biomarkers established in longitudinal studies in vivo and cultures in vitro will enable subjects to be accurately monitored for the impact of said interventions.

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University of Tübingen
Waldhörnlestr. 22
72072 Tübingen
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