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Senescent T-lymphocytes are mobilised into the peripheral blood compartment in young and older humans after exhaustive exercise

  Senescent T-lymphocytes are antigen-experienced cells that express the killer-cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1) and/or CD57; fail to clonally expand following further antigenic stimulation and prevail in the resting blood of older adults compared to the young. Physical exercise mobilises T-lymphocytes into the bloodstream and is therefore a model with which to compare age-related phenotypes of blood-resident T-cells with those T-cells entering the blood from peripheral lymphoid compartments. Eight young (Y; Age: 21 ± 3 years) and 8 older (O; Age: 56 ± 3 years) healthy males completed a maximal treadmill exercise protocol. Blood lymphocytes isolated before, immediately after and 1 h after exercise were assessed for cell surface expression of KLRG1, CD57, CD28, CD45RA, CD45RO, CD62L and lymphocyte subset markers using three-colour flow cytometry. Lymphocyte subset numbers (CD3+, CD3+/CD4+, CD3+/CD8 and CD3−/CD56+) increased with exercise (p < 0.05) but were not different between Y and O. At rest and immediately after exercise, the percentage of CD3+/CD8+ T-lymphocytes expressing KLRG1 and CD45RO was greater in O than Y, whereas Y had a greater expression of CD45RA and CD62L than O. The percentage of all CD3+/CD8+ and CD3+/CD4+ T-lymphocytes expressing KLRG1 and CD57 increased after exercise, but the magnitude of change was not age-dependent. In conclusion, there is a greater proportion of senescent CD3+/CD8+ T-lymphocytes in the blood of older adults compared to young at rest and immediately after exhaustive exercise, indicating that the greater frequency of KLRG1+/CD8+ T-lymphocytes in older humans is ubiquitous and not localised to the peripheral blood.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    04 March 2008

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    QR180 Immunology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    571 Physiology & related subjects


Simpson, R. J., Cosgrove, C., Ingram, L. A., Florida-James, G. D., Whyte, G. P., Pircher, H., & Guy, K. (2008). Senescent T-lymphocytes are mobilised into the peripheral blood compartment in young and older humans after exhaustive exercise. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 22(4), 544-551.



KLRG1, CD57, CD28, Lymphocyte proliferation, flow cytometry, age,

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