Maintenance of naïve CD8 T cells in nonagenarians by leptin, IGFBP3 and T3

Jian Chen, Jun Li, Fei Chu Lim, Qi Wu, Daniel C. Douek, Donald K. Scott, Eric Ravussin, Hui Chen Hsu, S. Michal Jazwinski, John D. Mountz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Research into the age-associated decline in the immune system has focused on the factors that contribute to the accumulation of senescent CD8 T cells. Less attention has been paid to the non-immune factors that may maintain the pool of naïve CD8 T cells. Here, we analyzed the status of the naïve CD8 T-cell population in healthy nonagenarians (≥90-year-old), old (60-79-year-old), and young (20-34-year-old) subjects. Naïve CD8 T cells were defined as CD28+CD95- as this phenotype showed a strong co-expression of the CD45RA+, CD45RO-, and CD127+ phenotypes. Although there was an age-associated decline in the percentage of CD28+CD95- CD8 T cells, the healthy nonagenarians maintained a pool of naïve CD28+CD95- cells that contained T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC)+ cells. The percentages of naïve CD28+CD95- CD8 T cells in the nonagenarians correlated with the sera levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and leptin. Higher levels of triiodothyronine (T3) negatively correlated with the accumulation of TREC-CD28-CD95+ CD8 T cells from nonagenarians. These results suggest a model in which IGFBP3, leptin and T3 act as non-immune factors to maintain a larger pool of naïve CD8 T cells in healthy nonagenarians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • IGFBP3
  • Leptin
  • Naïve CD8
  • Nonagenarians
  • T3
  • TREC


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