Age-associated decline in responses of naive T cells to in vitro immunization reflects shift in glucocorticoid sensitivity

Igor M. Dozmorov, Richard A. Miller

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2 Scopus citations


Naive T lymphocytes from young mice can be immunized to protein antigens in vitro if the initial exposure to antigen is followed by a brief period of clonal expansion in the presence of both the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (at 10-8 M) and antibodies to Interleukin-10 (IL-10). These cultures produce cell lines that respond to antigen rechallenge by proliferation and cytokine secretion. T cells from older mice, however, do not respond under these conditions unless the dexamethasone concentration is raised to levels (10- 7 M) that are inhibitory for T cells of young mice. Suitably timed exposure to dexamethasone can also increase proliferative responses to polyclonal activation via the CD3 component of the T cell receptor, and again optimal responses are obtained from old mice only at steroid concentrations that are super-optimal for young T cells. Diminished sensitivity to glucocorticoid effects may contribute to the poor responses of aged mice to novel immunogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1859
Number of pages11
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Apr 9 1999



  • Aging
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cytokines
  • Memory
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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