Immunosenescence: A systems-level overview of immune cell biology and strategies for improving vaccine responses

Stephen N. Crooke, Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Gregory A. Poland, Richard B. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Immunosenescence contributes to a decreased capacity of the immune system to respond effectively to infections or vaccines in the elderly. The full extent of the biological changes that lead to immunosenescence are unknown, but numerous cell types involved in innate and adaptive immunity exhibit altered phenotypes and function as a result of aging. These manifestations of immunosenescence at the cellular level are mediated by dysregulation at the genetic level, and changes throughout the immune system are, in turn, propagated by numerous cellular interactions. Environmental factors, such as nutrition, also exert significant influence on the immune system during aging. While the mechanisms that govern the onset of immunosenescence are complex, systems biology approaches allow for the identification of individual contributions from each component within the system as a whole. Although there is still much to learn regarding immunosenescence, systems-level studies of vaccine responses have been highly informative and will guide the development of new vaccine candidates, novel adjuvant formulations, and immunotherapeutic drugs to improve vaccine responses among the aging population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110632
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Adjuvants
  • Aging
  • Immunity
  • Immunosenescence
  • Senolytics
  • Systems biology
  • Vaccinology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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