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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 267078, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/267078
Review Article

Immunosenescence, Aging, and Systemic Lupus Erythematous

Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research (CREA), School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad del Rosario, Carrera 24 No. 63C-69, Bogota, Colombia

Received 30 June 2013; Accepted 18 August 2013

Academic Editor: Yehuda Shoenfeld

Copyright © 2013 Gladis Montoya-Ortiz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Senescence is a normal biological process that occurs in all organisms and involves a decline in cell functions. This process is caused by molecular regulatory machinery alterations, and it is closely related to telomere erosion in chromosomes. In the context of the immune system, this phenomenon is known as immunosenescence and refers to the immune function deregulation. Therefore, functions of several cells involved in the innate and adaptive immune responses are severely compromised with age progression (e.g., changes in lymphocyte subsets, decreased proliferative responses, chronic inflammatory states, etc.). These alterations make elderly individuals prone to not only infectious diseases but also to malignancy and autoimmunity. This review will explore the molecular aspects of processes related to cell aging, their importance in the context of the immune system, and their participation in elderly SLE patients.