Delay of T cell senescence by caloric restriction in aged long-lived nonhuman primates

Ilhem Messaoudi, Jessica Warner, Miranda Fischer, Buyng Park, Brenna Hill, Julie Mattison, Mark A. Lane, George S. Roth, Donald K. Ingram, Louis J. Picker, Daniel C. Douek, Motomi (Tomi) Mori, Janko Nikolich-Žugich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


Caloric restriction (CR) has long been known to increase median and maximal lifespans and to decreases mortality and morbidity in short-lived animal models, likely by altering fundamental biological processes that regulate aging and longevity. In rodents, CR was reported to delay the aging of the immune system (immune senescence), which is believed to be largely responsible for a dramatic increase in age-related susceptibility to infectious diseases. However, it is unclear whether CR can exert similar effects in long-lived organisms. Previous studies involving 2- to 4-year CR treatment of long-lived primates failed to find a CR effect or reported effects on the immune system opposite to those seen in CR-treated rodents. Here we show that long-term CR delays the adverse effects of aging on nonhuman primate T cells. CR effected a marked improvement in the maintenance and/or production of naïve T cells and the consequent preservation of T cell receptor repertoire diversity. Furthermore, CR also improved T cell function and reduced production of inflammatory cytokines by memory T cells. Our results provide evidence that CR can delay immune senescence in nonhuman primates, potentially contributing to an extended lifespan by reducing susceptibility to infectious disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19448-19453
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 19 2006


  • Aging
  • Immunity
  • Nutrition
  • T cell subsets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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