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Dendritic Cell-Airway Epithelial Cell Cross-Talk Changes with Age and Contributes to Chronic Lung Inflammatory Diseases in the Elderly


Age-associated dysregulated immune and inflammatory responses are one of the major factors responsible for the prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases in the older population. Pulmonary dendritic cells (DCs) are present below the airway epithelial cells (AECs) and are critical in initiating effective immune responses to harmful pathogens while maintaining tolerance against harmless antigens. The interaction between DCs and AECs plays a crucial role in lung immunity at homeostasis and during infections. The functions of both DCs and AECs are impacted with age. The present report reviews how the potential crosstalk between pulmonary DCs and AECs is dysregulated in the elderly impairing the capacity to maintain tolerance at the respiratory surfaces, which results in severe and chronic respiratory inflammatory diseases. We also discuss how such DC-AECs crosstalk will provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the increased susceptibility of the elderly to pulmonary inflammatory diseases.

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