Seminar organized by the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences of the University of Bordeaux
ImmunoConcEpT, CNRS UMRS 5164
“Alterations of the Naïve T Cell Compartment with Ageing: Causes and Consequences”
Tuesday, June 22 at 11.00 am
Summary: Advanced age is accompanied by a decline of immune functions, which likely plays a role in the increased susceptibility and severity to infectious diseases and cancer of old people. In particular, the reduced capacity of cellular immunity to respond to new antigens may be key in the vulnerability to emerging viruses, tumor development and low efficacy of primary vaccinations in elderly populations. Aging is associated with quantitative and qualitative deficits in the naive T cell compartment, which compromise the generation of de novo immune responses against previously unencountered antigens. However, its precise determinants are not fully understood.
During this presentation, I will discuss the potential influence of common persistent herpesvirus infections, known to continuously stimulate and consume immune resources, on de novo T-cell responsiveness in cohorts of healthy older adults. I will also discuss data regarding an age-related link between altered metabolism and impaired functional capacity of naive T cells. These data provide insights in the changes of adaptive immunity over time and the associated decline in vaccine efficacy with ageing. This knowledge is directly relevant for the management of emerging infectious or malignant diseases in elderly populations.
Biosketch: Victor Appay is a research director at the INSERM, and co-head of the “Vulnerability and Ageing of the Immune System” team within the ImmunoConcept unit of the Bordeaux University.
After receiving an engineer diploma in Biotechnology at the Ecole Superieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (France) in 1997, Victor joined the department of Prof Andrew McMichael at the University of Oxford (England) where he obtained a PhD in Immunology in 2001 under the supervision of Prof Sarah Rowland-Jones. Following postdoctoral experiences both in Oxford and Lausanne (Switzerland), he established his research team in Paris (France) in 2005, before moving to Bordeaux in 2020.
The study of cellular immunity has been the central theme of his research over the last 20 years. His work has initially focused on the characterization of human T cells in various infectious contexts, particularly HIV-1 infection. His findings have provided refined mechanistic insights into the workings and induction of effective CD8+ T cell responses against HIV, and into the role of immune activation in the development of premature immunosenescence during HIV infection. In recent years, he concentrates increasing efforts on the study of immune ageing in the older population, with the aim to provide advanced understanding in the emerging field of immunogerontology.