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Age-Associated Changes in the Immune System and Blood–Brain Barrier Functions

VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1632;
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
Age is associated with altered immune functions that may affect the brain. Brain barriers, including the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and blood–CSF barrier (BCSFB), are important interfaces for neuroimmune communication, and are affected by aging. In this review, we explore novel mechanisms by which the aging immune system alters central nervous system functions and neuroimmune responses, with a focus on brain barriers. Specific emphasis will be on recent works that have identified novel mechanisms by which BBB/BCSFB functions change with age, interactions of the BBB with age-associated immune factors, and contributions of the BBB to age-associated neurological disorders. Understanding how age alters BBB functions and responses to pathological insults could provide important insight on the role of the BBB in the progression of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: blood–brain barrier; aging; inflammation blood–brain barrier; aging; inflammation
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Erickson, M.A.; Banks, W.A. Age-Associated Changes in the Immune System and Blood–Brain Barrier Functions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1632.

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