Israeli researchers have discovered what happens to the immune system with aging, which may allow the development of early biomarkers for human aging, the Ben Gurion University (BGU) reported on Thursday.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, was conducted by BGU and the National Institute of Biotechnology in the Negev, both located in the southern city of Beer Sheva.
Using technological measures, the researchers examined for the first time the changes that occur in the immune system as the age increases.
These changes accelerate the process of aging and the development of age-dependent diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, brain diseases and cancer, years before their physical symptoms appear.
So far, much information has accumulated in the context of changes that the immune system is undergoing in aging, which reduces the body’s immune efficiency and increases chronic infections.
However, there is a lack of understanding about the onset of the changes, their characterisation at the cellular and molecular level, as well as understanding the relationship between these changes and the risk of age-dependent diseases.
The Israeli team compared cells of young and adult mice and pointed to a series of biomarkers for early detection of the immune system aging which is the basis for neurodegenerative diseases.
After classifying thousands of immune cells computationally, and confirming the results in experiments, the researchers were surprised to discover types of cells not seen before aging, which indicated the changes in the immune system.
As a result, the researchers suggested a complete set of biomarkers that can detect and track changes in the immune system, thereby paying way for molecularly repairing them.