The accumulation of CD28- T cells, particularly within the CD8 subset, is one of the most prominent changes during T-cell homeostasis and function associated with aging in humans. CD28, a major co-stimulatory receptor, is responsible for the optimal antigen-mediated T-cell activation, proliferation and survival of T cells. CD28- T cells exhibit reduced antigen receptor diversity, defective antigen-induced proliferation and a shorter replicative lifespan while showing enhanced cytotoxicity and regulatory functions. Gene expression analyses reveal profound changes of CD28- T cells in comparison to their CD28+ counterparts and corroborate their functional differences. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of CD28- T cells and their role in the age-associated decline of immune function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy