Immunosenescence, Thymic Involution and Autoimmunity

  • Wayne A. Mitchell
  • Richard Aspinall
Part of the Medical Intelligence Unit book series (MIUN)


In recent years life expectancy in Western Societies has dramatically increased with greater numbers of individuals living longer; consequently the prevalence of age-associated diseases such as infections, cancers and autoimmune disease increases. A striking feature of the ageing process is the involution of the thymus. This primary lymphoid organ is instrumental in generating naive T-cell required to successfully defeat against ‘foreign’ and ‘self’ antigens. Much effort has been made to find means of reversing the effects of ageing and a variety of factors have been investigated in a quest to maintain a youthful immune system. In this review we examine some features of immunosenescence and the work undertaken, with particular interest to the role of the cytokine interleukin-7, to further our understanding of the relationship between ageing and development of autoimmunity.


Zinc Deficiency Thymic Involution Ginkgo Biloba Extract Thymic Atrophy Thymic Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne A. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Richard Aspinall
    • 1
  1. 1.Technology and Medicine, Faculty of Investigative Sciences, Department of ImmunologyImperial College of ScienceLondonUK

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