Clonal expansions and loss of receptor diversity in the naive CD8 T cell repertoire of aged mice

Mushtaq Ahmed, Kathleen G. Lanzer, Eric J. Yager, Pamela S. Adams, Lawrence L. Johnson, Marcia A. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

There are well-characterized age-related changes in the peripheral repertoire of CD8 T cells characterized by reductions in the ratio of naive:memory T cells and the development of large clonal expansions in the memory pool. In addition, the TCR repertoire of naive T cells is reduced with aging. Because a diverse repertoire of naive T cells is essential for a vigorous response to new infections and vaccinations, there is much interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for declining repertoire diversity. It has been proposed that one reason for declining repertoire diversity in the naive T cell pool is an increasing dependence on homeostatic proliferation in the absence of new thymic emigrants for maintenance of the naive peripheral pool. In this study, we have analyzed the naive CD8 T cell repertoire in young and aged mice by DNA spectratype and sequence analysis. Our data show that naive T cells from aged mice have perturbed spectratype profiles compared with the normally Gaussian spectratype profiles characteristic of naive CD8 T cells from young mice. In addition, DNA sequence analysis formally demonstrated a loss of diversity associated with skewed spectratype profiles. Unexpectedly, we found multiple repeats of the same sequence in naive T cells from aged but not young mice, consistent with clonal expansions previously described only in the memory T cell pool. Clonal expansions among naive T cells suggests dysregulation in the normal homeostatic proliferative mechanisms that operate in young mice to maintain diversity in the naive T cell repertoire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-792
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume182
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009

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