Our aim was to identify ageing associated changes in the human immune system at the level of gene expression and also to characterize how these changes differ between males and females. The study population consisted of 146 nonagenarians participating in the Vitality 90+ study and 30 young controls. The genome wide transcriptomic analysis was performed to peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Our results show that there are differences between males and females in ageing associated gene expression changes, as well as in ageing associated changes in signaling pathways. Fewer affected signaling pathways were identified in males compared to females. The results also indicate that nonagenarian females have weaker T cell defenses and a more prominent pro-inflammatory response as compared to males.
Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Nykter M, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Tserel L, Peterson P, Hurme M. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66229. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066229
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Department of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine, University of Tampere