14th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop: Report on the immunogenetics of aging


Elissaveta Naumova
Central Laboratory of Clinical Immunology
University Hospital ‘Alexandrovska’
1 Georgy Sofiisky street
1431 Sofia
Tel: 3592 9230 690
Fax: 3592 9230 496
e-mail: immun@alexandrovska-hospital.bg


The ‘Immunogenetics of Aging’ is a newly included component within the 14th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop. The aim of this component was to determine the contribution of human leukocyte antigen (HLA), cytokine genes and other major histocompatibility complex-encoded loci to successful aging and to determine an increased capacity to reach the extreme limits of life span. Two main data sets from four European populations were included in this study: unrelated healthy elderly individuals and ethnically matched young controls, and families with longevity members. Analysis was focused on HLA class I and II and cytokine gene polymorphisms. Preliminary results showed increased frequencies of DRB1*11- and DRB*16-associated haplotypes that were found to be protective for autoimmune diseases in some populations. Additionally, in families with longevity members, alleles and haplotypes positively associated with autoimmunity were not observed. Analysis of cytokine gene polymorphisms showed prevalence of anti-inflammatory profiles in healthy elderly individuals. Inheritance of extended haplotypes in families with longevity members allowed the identification of immunogenetic profiles that could be predictive for longevity. These preliminary studies indicate the relevance of genes regulating immune functions in human longevity and the importance of clarifying further their impact in successful aging.