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Changes of T-cell Immunity Over a Lifetime

Nian, Yeqi MD1,2; Minami, Koichiro MD, PhD1,3; Maenesono, Ryoichi MD1,3; Iske, Jasper1,4; Yang, Jinrui MD2; Azuma, Haruhito MD3; ElKhal, Abdala PhD1; Tullius, Stefan G. MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000002786

T-cell immunity undergoes a complex and continuous remodeling with aging. Understanding those dynamics is essential in refining immunosuppression. Aging is linked to phenotypic and metabolic changes in T-cell immunity, many resulting into impaired function and compromised effectiveness. Those changes may impact clinical immunosuppression with evidences suggesting age-specific efficacies of some (CNI and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors) but not necessarily all immunosuppressants. Metabolic changes of T cells with aging have only recently been appreciated and may provide novel ways of immunosuppression. Here, we provide an update on changes of T-cell immunity in aging.

1 Division of Transplant Surgery and Transplantation Surgery Research Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

2 Department of Urology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

3 Department of Urology, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan.

4 Institute of Transplant Immunology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Received 26 December 2018. Revision received 4 April 2019.

Accepted 11 April 2019.

Y.N. participated in writing of the article. K.M. and R.M. participated in making of the figures. All authors of this study participated in revision and final review of the article.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R56/R01AG039449. Y.N. was supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council (201606370196) and Central South University. K.M. and R.M. were supported by the Osaka Medical Foundation. J.I. was supported by the Biomedical Education Program and The German Academic Exchange Service.

Correspondence: Stefan G. Tullius MD, PhD, 75 Francis St, 02115, Boston, MA. (

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