Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

“Lost” immune cells and reduced vaccine response

New research has explained that the organisation of the germinal centre – which is vital to the generation of longer-lived protection following vaccination – is altered with ageing.

By demonstrating that these age-related changes can be reversed in mice, the research sets the foundation for interventions that bolster an effective vaccine response.

After a vaccination our immune system reacts by creating germinal centres that produce B cells that provide long-term protection through antibody production.

Due to an age-dependent impairment in antibody production, older people have lower levels of protection from vaccination, which also wanes more quickly compared to younger people.

Understanding how the age-related decline of the immune system can be reversed or mitigated is an important part of securing better health in later years.

Through a combination of mouse research, computer modelling and analysis of human vaccination data, the research team from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge was able to show that changes to key interactors of B cells in the light zone of the germinal centre, T follicular helper cells, and also to light-zone specific cells called follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), were at the heart of the diminished vaccination response.

Image credit | iStock

Related Articles

eProtein Discovery side-CREDIT_Supplied

Tech round up: June 2024

Best new tech this month

Natural-killer cells attacking a cancer cel - CREDIT - Science-Photolibrary-f0339843

Predictive model for tumour-killing cells

Scientists have developed a powerful predictive model for identifying the most potent cancer-killing immune cells for use in cancer immunotherapies.

Vaccine bottle - CREDIT - iStock-Shutterstock-Various

Personalised vaccines: A pioneering new immunotherapy

A look at the international trial of the world’s first personalised mRNA cancer immunotherapy for melanoma and its potential translation to other cancers and diseases.

Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Diagnostic Laboratory -CREDIT-Supplied

My lab: antibodymediated autoimmune neurology

A guided tour of the Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Diagnostic Laboratory.