Exceptional aging has been defined as maintenance of physical and cognitive function beyond the median lifespan despite a history of diseases and/or concurrent subclinical conditions. Since immunity is vital to individual fitness, we examined immunologic fingerprint(s) of highly functional elders. Therefore, survivors of the Cardiovascular Health Study in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA were recruited (n?=?140; mean age?=?86 years) and underwent performance testing. Blood samples were collected and examined blindly for humoral factors and T cell phenotypes.
Overexpression of Bcl-2 contributes to resistance of cancer cells to human cytotoxic lymphocytes (CL) by blocking granzyme B (GraB)-induced mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). Drugs that neutralise Bcl-2 (e.g., ABT-737) may therefore be effective adjuvants for immunotherapeutic strategies that use CL to kill cancer cells. Consistent with this we found that ABT-737 effectively restored MOMP in Bcl-2 overexpressing cells treated with GraB or natural killer cells.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a critical regulator of many physiological functions, ranging from longevity to immunity. However, little is known about the role of IGF-1 in natural killer cell development and function. Here, we identify an essential role for IGF-1 in the positive regulation of human natural killer cell development and cytotoxicity. Specifically, we show that human natural killer cells have the ability to produce IGF-1 and that differential endogenous IGF-1 expression leads to disparate cytotoxicity in human primary natural killer cells.
Annali Italiani Di Medicina Interna: Organo Ufficiale Della Societ‡ Italiana Di Medicina Interna
The progressive lengthening of the average life span and the expanding elderly population high-light the phenomenon of "centenarianism" or extreme longevity in Italy. A large number of Italian Geriatric and Gerontology Centers throughout Italy have joined in the Italian Multicenter Study on Centenarians which evaluates the clinical and biological conditions of centenarians. A census of centenarians in Italy as of December 31, 1993 is presently in course. Preliminary data indicate that about 6000 subjects were alive on that day.
Several studies have shown that both oxidative stress and inflammation are linked to the process of hypertension and that the immune system is also involved in this age-related process. More specifically, the oxygen stress related to immune system dysfunction seems to have a key role in senescence, in agreement with the oxidation/ inflammation theory of aging. From a practical point of view, and according to our own research, the immune functions change in a similar fashion in hypertension and aging.
This study was a 19-week prospective conducted to determine the effectiveness of a self-hypnosis/relaxation intervention to relieve symptoms of psychological distress and moderate immune system reactivity to examination stress in 35 first-year medical students. Twenty-one subjects were randomly selected for training in the use of self-hypnosis as a coping skill and were encouraged to practice regularly and to maintain daily diary records related to mood, sleep, physical symptoms, and frequency of relaxation practice.
Patients were recruited for hypnotherapy from a clinic for patients with frequently recurrent genital herpes simplex virus (rgHSV). Psychological and immunological parameters were measured 6 weeks prior to hypnotherapy and 6 weeks afterwards, during which time each patient kept a diary of symptoms of rgHSV. Following hypnotherapy there was a significant overall reduction in the number of reported episodes of rgHSV, accompanied by an increase in the numbers of CD3 and CD8 lymphocytes, which may represent a non specific effect of hypnosis.
In a prospective randomised controlled trial, 48 students were randomly assigned to stress reduction training before exams with self-hypnosis, Johrei or a mock neurofeedback relaxation control. Peripheral blood lymphocyte subpopulations and self-reported stress (Perceived Stress Scale) were measured before training and 1-2 months later as exams approached. Absolute number and percentages of CD3(+)CD4(+) and CD3(+)CD8(+) T lymphocytes, CD3(-)CD56(+) Natural Killer cells (NK cells) and NK cell cytotoxic activity was measured from venous blood.
The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
In order to make a recommendation about the use of hypnosis as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of breast cancer, 2 studies assessing the immunological effects of hypnosis in patients with early stage breast cancer were evaluated: (a) an experiment that taught hypnotic guided-imagery therapy to patients and (b) one that provided participants with home visits and autogenic training. Both investigations demonstrated improvement in depression and increased natural killer (NK) cell counts after 2 months of hypnosis treatment.