Publication Date


Journal Title

Front Immunol


© 2019 Rodriguez-Zhurbenko, Quach, Hopkins, Rothstein and Hernandez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Age-related deficits in the immune system have been associated with an increased incidence of infections, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Human B cell populations change quantitatively and qualitatively in the elderly. However, the function of human B-1 cells, which play critical anti-microbial and housekeeping roles, have not been studied in the older age population. In the present work, we analyzed how the frequency, function and repertoire of human peripheral blood B-1 cells (CD19+CD20+CD27+CD38low/intCD43+) change with age. Our results show that not only the percentage of B-1 cells but also their ability to spontaneously secrete IgM decreased with age. Further, expression levels of the transcription factors XBP-1 and Blimp-1 were significantly lower, while PAX-5, characteristic of non-secreting B cells, was significantly higher, in healthy donors over 65 years (old) as compared to healthy donors between 20 and 45 years (young). To further characterize the B-1 cell population in older individuals, we performed single cell sequencing analysis of IgM heavy chains from healthy young and old donors. We found reduced repertoire diversity of IgM antibodies in B-1 cells from older donors as well as differences in usage of certain VH and DH specific genes, as compared to younger. Overall, our results show impairment of the human B-1 cell population with advancing age, which might impact the quality of life and onset of disease within the elderly population.

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Document Type



Faculty; Northwell Researcher


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department

Molecular Medicine

Additional Departments

General Internal Medicine