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Transcriptional Profiling of Age-Associated Gene Expression Changes in Human Circulatory CD1c+ Myeloid Dendritic Cell Subset


Immune dysfunction is a hallmark of aging and is thought to be responsible for the age-associated diseases. Dendritic cells (DCs) of the immune system function as initiators and regulators of the immune responses. Recent studies have highlighted the division of labor between various DC subsets. CD1c+ DC subset has emerged as a major inducer of CD4 T cell response. There is a scarcity of information regarding the age-associated changes in the functions of DC subsets in the elderly. Here, we investigated the changes in transcriptional profile of CD1c+ DC subset from healthy aged and young individuals using RNA sequencing. Our results suggest that majority of the genes in DCs are upregulated with age. Glucose transport, GPCR, and potassium channel genes are all upregulated in DCs from aged as compared to young indicating an enhanced activation state of DCs from aged individuals. The expression of histones, small nucleolar RNA H/ACA box (SNORA) and small nucleolar RNA C/D/box (SNORD), and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is also substantially upregulated in the DCs from aged. In contrast, the antigen-presenting and energy generating pathways are downregulated. In summary, DCs from aged subjects display an activated state coupled with reduced antigen presentation which may be responsible for age-associate immune dysfunction.

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