Visualizing the occurrence of age-dependent characteristics of T cell activation.

Abstract

<p>The requirement of activation by the TCR/CD3 complex is less dependent on costimulation by CD28 in CB naive CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells compared to that seen in adult cells. The intensity of Ca<sup>2+</sup> influx, NFATc2 expression and IL-2 response are all age-dependent. A dramatic shift is seen in the naive T cell response at the age of 2 months. The cells’ capacity to produce high amounts of IL-2 is suddenly abrogated. Ca<sup>2+</sup> influx declines to the lowest values observed in life. At 6 months of age, the IL-2 response starts to improve slowly. This “reprogramming” of T cells takes place as the passively transferred maternal Abs in the infant are beginning to decline. Limited T-cell responses likely contribute to the high risk of infants to suffer from infections and infection-related pathologies such as Sepsis and SIDS [<a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0166633#pone.0166633.ref043" target="_blank">43</a>,<a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0166633#pone.0166633.ref044" target="_blank">44</a>] during the first months of life.</p

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