As humans live longer, a central concern is to find ways to maintain their health as they age. Immunity declines during ageing, as shown by the increased susceptibility to infection by both previously encountered and new pathogens and by the decreased efficacy of vaccination. It is therefore crucial to understand the mechanisms responsible for this decrease in immunity and to develop new strategies to enhance immune function in older humans. We discuss here how the induction of senescence alters leukocyte, and specifically T cell, function. An emerging concept is that senescence and nutrient sensing-signalling pathways within T cells converge to regulate functional responses, and the manipulation of these pathways may offer new ways to enhance immunity during ageing.
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Aging, Animals, Cellular Senescence, Humans, Immunity, Immunization, Signal Transduction, T-Lymphocytes