Dr. Ellen Kraig’s lab was the first to show
that antibody responses decline with age, while memory immunity to the same
antigen is maintained. They continue to study immune aging in three
systems. First, since baboons maintain some immune competence, we are
comparing immune-aging acoss non-human primate species. Second, using a
transgenic model of myasthenia gravis, we have studied the effects of aging on
immunity, autoimmunity, and tolerance. Lastly, since the immunosuppressive
drug, rapamycin, increased longevity even in relatively old mice, we are
investigating rapamycin’s effects on immune parameters in both adult and old
mice using both molecular and immunological approaches. Our long-term goal is
to optimize vaccines for use in older individuals.
Stacy S, Pasquali A, Sexton VL, Cantwell AM, Kraig E, Dube PH. An age-old paradigm challenged: old baboons generate vigorous humoral immune responses to LcrV, a plague antigen. J Immunol. 2008 Jul 1;181(1):109-15.
Williams, E, S Stacy, AJ Infante,
and E Kraig (2009) Chapter 13 Mechanisms of tolerance in
experimental models of myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis; ed P Christadoss; pp 235-257
Stacy S, Williams EL, Standifer NE, Pasquali A, Krolick KA, Infante AJ, Kraig E. Maintenance of immune tolerance to a neo-self acetylcholine receptor antigen with aging: implications for late-onset autoimmunity. J Immunol. 2010 Jun 1;184(11):6067-75.
Majumder S, Caccamo A, Medina DX, Benavides AD, Javors MA, Kraig E, Strong R, Richardson A, Oddo S. Lifelong rapamycin administration ameliorates age-dependent cognitive deficits by reducing IL-1β and enhancing NMDA signaling. Aging Cell. 2012 Apr;11(2):326-35.
Rubicz R, Yolken R, Drigalenko E, Carless MA, Dyer TD, Bauman L, Melton
PE, Kent JW Jr, Harley JB, Curran JE, Johnson MP, Cole SA, Almasy L,
Moses EK, Dhurandhar NV, Kraig E, Blangero J, Leach CT, Göring HH. A genome-wide integrative genomic study localizes genetic factors influencing antibodies against Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1). PLoS Genet. 2013;9(1):e1003147.