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BMC Molecular Biology (1)
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Chen, Guobing (2)
Fan, Jun Y (1)
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Ohms, Stephen J (1)
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T Cell Aging: A Review of the Transcriptional Changes Determined from Genome-Wide Analysis
Frontiers in Immunology
Age carries a detrimental impact on T cell function. In the past decade, analyses of the genome-scale transcriptional changes of T cells during aging have yielded a large amount of data and provided a global view of gene expression changes in T cells from aged hosts as well as subsets of T cells accumulated with age. Here, we aim to review the changes of gene expression in thymocytes and peripheral mature T cells, as well as the subsets of T cells accumulated with age, and discuss the gene networks and signaling pathways that are altered with aging in T cells. We also discuss future direction for furthering the understanding of the molecular basis of gene expression alterations in aged T cells, which could potentially provide opportunities for gene-based clinical interventions.
aging; thymocytes; T cells; naïve and memory T cells; CD28− T cells
Plasticity of DNA methylation in mouse T cell activation and differentiation
Ohms, Stephen J
Shannon, M Frances
Fan, Jun Y
BMC Molecular Biology
Circulating CD4+ T helper cells are activated through interactions with antigen presenting cells and undergo differentiation into specific T helper cell subsets depending on the type of antigen encountered. In addition, the relative composition of the circulating CD4+ T cell population changes as animals mature with an increased percentage of the population being memory/effector type cells.
Here, we report on the highly plastic nature of DNA methylation at the genome-wide level as T cells undergo activation, differentiation and aging. Of particular note were the findings that DNA demethylation occurred rapidly following T cell activation and that all differentiated T cell populations displayed lower levels of global methylation than the non-differentiated population. In addition, T cells from older mice had a reduced level of DNA methylation, most likely explained by the increase in the memory/effector cell fraction. Although significant genome-wide changes were observed, changes in DNA methylation at individual genes were restricted to specific cell types. Changes in the expression of enzymes involved in DNA methylation and demethylation reflect in most cases the changes observed in the genome-wide DNA methylation status.
We have demonstrated that DNA methylation is dynamic and flexible in CD4+ T cells and changes rapidly both in a genome-wide and in a targeted manner during T cell activation, differentiation. These changes are accompanied by parallel changes in the enzymatic complexes that have been implicated in DNA methylation and demethylation implying that the balance between these opposing activities may play a role in the maintaining the methylation profile of a given cell type but also allow flexibility in a cell population that needs to respond rapidly to environmental signals.
DNA demethylation; T cell activation; T cell differentiation; Il2, Csf2
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