Men do not live as long as women. This is a consistent effect across populations and eras, and there are any number of theories as to why this is the case. This might lead us to expect measurable aspects of aging to be more pronounced in older males than in older females, and researchers here show that this is the case for the age-related dysfunction of the immune system. As we age, the immune system becomes both overactive and less capable, leading to chronic inflammation alongside decreased resistance to infection and cancer. This is an important contribution to age-related frailty, disease, and mortality.
Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) undergo both cell-intrinsic and cell-compositional changes (i.e., cell frequencies) with age, where certain immune functions are impaired and others are remodeled1. Analyses of human blood samples uncovered significant aging-related changes in gene expression and DNA methylation levels. Recent studies revealed that chromatin accessibility of purified immune cells, especially CD8+ T cells, change significantly with aging, impacting the activity of important receptor molecules, signaling pathways, and transcription factors. Together, these changes likely contribute
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