Role of cell-intrinsic and environmental age-related changes in altered maintenance of murine T cells in lymphoid organs

John S. Davies, Heather L. Thompson, Vesna Pulko, Jose Padilla Torres, Janko Nikolich-Žugich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Age-related changes in primary lymphoid organs are well described. Less is known about age-related changes affecting peripheral lymphoid organs, although defects in old peripheral lymph nodes (pLNs) were recently described in both steady state and during viral infection. To address whether such pLN defects were intrinsic to old T cells or extrinsic (due to aging microenvironment), we employed heterochronic parabiosis. We found no age-related intrinsic or extrinsic barriers to T cell circulation and seeding of pLN, spleen, and bone marrow. However, heterochronic parabiosis failed to improve cellularity of old pLN, suggesting an environment-based limit on pLN cellularity. Furthermore, upon parabiosis, pLN of the adult partner exhibited reduced, old-like stromal and T cell cellularity, which was restored following separation of parabionts. Decay measurement of adult and old T cell subsets following separation of heterochronic parabionts delineated both T cell-intrinsic and environmental changes in T cell maintenance. Moreover, parabiotic separation revealed differences between CD4 and CD8 T cell subset maintenance with aging, the basis of which will require further investigation. Reasons for this asymmetric and subset-specific pattern of differential maintenance are discussed in light of possible age-related changes in lymph nodes as the key sites for peripheral T cell maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1026
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 9 2018


  • Homeostasis-Lymph nodes-T cells-Parabiosis-Aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of cell-intrinsic and environmental age-related changes in altered maintenance of murine T cells in lymphoid organs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this