Age-Related Dysfunction in the Innate Immune Response to Lung Infections

  • Devin M. BoeEmail author
  • Michael M. Chen
  • Elizabeth J. Kovacs
Living reference work entry


Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) pneumonia is much more common and far more lethal in the elderly. The immunologic mechanisms responsible for this age-dependent response are poorly understood but are likely associated with aberrant immune function in the aged. The intrinsic defects in innate immune cells that have been identified in the older subjects and the elevated basal inflammatory state seen in these individuals are thought to play a role in the inability of neutrophils to rapidly migrate to sites of infection and efficiently perform their phagocytic and antimicrobial tasks, clearing and killing pathogens. In this review chapter, we will discuss the literature examining the effects of P. aeruginosa infection and neutrophil function as it pertains to the vulnerable aging population with the hope that the research community will see the growing need to develop potential targeted therapeutic options for this at-risk and expanding patient population.


Aging Elderly Immunology Infection Inflammation Inflamm-aging Innate immunity Pneumonia 



Chemokine (CXC motif) ligand 1




Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor


Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor


Human syncytial virus


Intercellular adhesion molecule -1


Inducible nitrous oxide synthase




Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Platelet-activating factor receptor






Reactive oxygen species


Signal tyrosine phosphotase-1


Toll-like receptor


Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell-1



This work was supported in part by NIH R01 AG018859 (EJK) and F30AA022856 (MMC). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devin M. Boe
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Michael M. Chen
    • 4
  • Elizabeth J. Kovacs
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of GI, Endocrine and Tumor SurgeryUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Graduate Program in ImmunologyUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Mucosal Inflammation ProgramUniversity of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  4. 4.Stritch School of MedicineLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA

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