Influence of Ageing on the Microarchitecture of the Spleen and Lymph Nodes

Vivian Turner, Neil Mabbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The elderly have a decreased response to vaccination and an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. The spleen and lymph nodes are important secondary lymphoid organs where immune cells can rapidly respond to pathogenic material in the blood and lymph in order to mount long-term adaptive immune responses to those pathogens. In aged mice and humans
structural changes occur to both the spleen and lymph nodes. These structural changes affect the functioning of the immune cells within, which may ultimate result in less effective or decreased immune responses. This review describes our current understanding of the structural 30 changes that occur to the spleen and lymph nodes of elderly mice. However, where data are available, we also discuss whether similar changes occur in tissues from elderly humans. A
particular focus is made on how these structural changes are considered to impact on the functioning of the immune cells within. The world’s population is currently living longer than ever before. The increased incidence and severity of infectious diseases in the elderly has the potential to have a significant impact on the health care system if solutions are not identified.
A thorough understanding of the molecular causes of these ageing-related structural changes to the spleen and lymph nodes may help to identify novel treatments that could repair them, and in doing so, improve immune responses and vaccine efficacy in the elderly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-738
Issue number5
Early online date13 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Ageing; spleen and lymph nodes; marginal zone; follicular dendritic cells;

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of Ageing on the Microarchitecture of the Spleen and Lymph Nodes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this