Cellular immune activation in Sardinian middle-aged, older adults and centenarians

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In addition to viral infections, malignant disorders, autoimmune diseases, and allograft rejection episodes, neopterin increases in older people where it is found to be predictive of overall mortality. Thus, the serum concentrations of this biomarker of systemic immune and inflammation activation, were measured in a small cohort of Sardinian middle-aged, older adults and centenarians. There was a significant positive correlation between neopterin concentrations and age with the subjects in the 95-year-old group with the highest values. Notably, the group of centenarians had neopterin values comparable to those of 80- and 90-year-old groups, and significantly lower than that of 95-year-old group. This suggests a decreased monocyte/macrophage-mediated immune activation and an apparently preserved immune status in centenarians.

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