Vulnerability and Ageing
of the Immune System
Research context and projects:
Elderly people present an increased rate of severe infections and cancers compared to younger individuals, resulting in a significant reduction in their quality of life and increasing medical costs. Growing evidence indicates that disease in the elderly is related to changes of the immune system competence with ageing, characterized by quantitative and qualitative alterations of immune cells, and a hyper–inflammatory status, referred to as immunosenescence and inflammaging, respectively.
Our projects tackle immunological questions pertaining to the induction or loss of effective human T–cell responses, from early immune compartments (i.e. hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors) to late memory T–cellsin olderhumans, and individuals with canceror infected by viruses (e.gHIV, CMV or SARS–CoV–2).
We aim to
I) Dissect the alterationsof the hematopoietic stem cellcompartment and their impact on lymphopoietic capacityin the elderly;
II) Uncover impairments of antigen specific naïve alpha-beta and gamma-deltaT–cells with old age, and develop strategies to improve T–cell priming and vaccine efficacy in this setting of ‘compromised’ immunity.
To be completed