Research news: Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-dependent and -independent changes in the aging of the human immune system: A transcriptomic analysis
CMV is a herpes virus, which after a symptomless primary infection remains latent. Previous studies indicate that latency and possible reactivation of the virus may lead to harmful changes in the immune system. As the majority of the population is CMV seropositive, the CMV-independent ageing-associated changes can be difficult to analyze.
Our aim was to identify ageing-associated changes that are caused by biological ageing per se and those that are associated with CMV-infection. The study population consisted of 146 nonagenarians participating in the Vitality 90+ study and 11 young controls. We performed a genome wide transcriptomic analysis and compared the expression levels of both CMV-positive and-negative nonagenarians to the CMV-negative controls. We identified a group of genes and signaling pathways that are differently affected in CMV-positive and CMV-negative nonagenarians. Our results indicate that CMV-dependent and-independent changes in the ageing of the immune system are fundamentally different. The results also imply that CMV-independent ageing is more heterogeneous compared to CMV-dependent ageing.
Kuparinen T, Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Tserel L, Peterson P, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Mar;48(3):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2012.12.010.
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Department of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine, University of Tampere