Immunosenescence and the Ageing Lung

Krisztian Kvell and Judit E. Pongracz

Abstract

Ageing is generally defined as the progressive decline of homeostasis that occurs after the reproductive phase of life is complete and the “soma becomes disposable” and death is inevitable according to one theory of ageing. The complexity of the ageing process becomes strikingly evident in the lung where tissue maintenance and repair suffer from damage at the genetic level as well as tissue level. Moreover, lung function declines steadily in adulthood and if data for older adults are extrapolated, the outcome suggests an upper age limit beyond which life becomes impossible. In this chapter we cover the main changes to lung structure and function with age and the impact on respiratory health. We also describe the role that an aged immune system may play in the age-related decline in lung function and the major involvement of altered signalling through developmental pathways with special focus on PPARy.

Keywords

Lung function • Inflammation • PPARy • Wnt • Ageing

 
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