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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 436438, 11 pages
Research Article

Dendritic Cells from Aged Subjects Display Enhanced Inflammatory Responses to Chlamydophila pneumoniae

1Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Received 12 May 2014; Revised 6 August 2014; Accepted 7 August 2014; Published 1 September 2014

Academic Editor: Alex Kleinjan

Copyright © 2014 Sangeetha Prakash et al. 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.


Chlamydophila pneumoniae (CPn) is a common respiratory pathogen that causes a chronic and persistent airway infection. The elderly display an increased susceptibility and severity to this infection. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the initiators and regulators of immune responses. Therefore, we investigated the role of DCs in the age-associated increased CPn infection in vitro in humans. Though the expression of activation markers was comparable between the two age groups, DCs from aged subjects secreted enhanced levels of proinflammatory mediators such as TNF- and CXCL-10 in response to CPn. In contrast, the secretion of IL-10 and innate interferons, IFN- and IFN-, was severely impaired in DCs from aged donors. The increased activation of DCs from aged subjects to CPn also resulted in enhanced proliferation of CD4 and CD8 T cells in a DC-T coculture. Furthermore, T cells primed with CPn-stimulated DCs from aged subjects secreted increased levels of IFN- and reduced levels of IL-10 compared to DCs obtained from young subjects. In summary, DCs from the elderly displayed enhanced inflammatory response to CPn which may result in airway remodeling and increase the susceptibility of the elderly to respiratory diseases such as asthma.