Aging of the Immune System - Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich
In this lecture, the University of Arizona's Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich begins by giving an overview of the human immune system and the pathogens from which it protects us. He reviews innate and adaptive immunity and explains the role B cells and T cells play in the immune system. Next, he describes what happens to our immune systems as we age -- and it isn't good. The immune system becomes less effective in many ways: fewer naive lymphocytes are produced, senescent immune cells accumulate, and the body responds less effectively to antigens. Dr. Nikolich-Zugich provides some hope, though, by describing his own research to help overcome age-related immune decline. Specifically, he describes his work with mice infected by West Nile Virus. Dr. Nikolich-Zugich ends by describing other important strategies in the field, which taken together, might significantly enhance immune function in the elderly.