Immunological Status of aged subjects with reference to serological evidence of autoimmunity

Carlo Zanussi, Claudio Rugarli, Paolo Casali, Giovanna Fabio, Bice Perussia, Maria Grazia Sabbadini Villa, Raffaella Scorza Smeraldi, Giorgio Duca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


When a group of 104 aged subjects was screened for autoimmune reactions, positive reactions for the rheumatoid factor and/or autoantibodies (ANA, anti-thyroid, PCA, anti-smooth muscle, anti-mitochondria) were recorded in 40.4%. Immunological functions were studied in 32 positive aged subjects, 32 age- and sex-matched negative controls, and 32 young subjects. Some differences attributable to the process of aging were quite evident, such as a depression in the percentage of E rosette forming peripheral lymphocytes and in their response to PHA, and an increase in the percentage of IgG-bearing peripheral lymphocytes and in the serum levels of IgA and three complement fractions (C'3, C'4 and C'3-PA). No clear-cut picture was noted when autoimmunity-positive and -negative, aged subjects were compared. However, some differences between sexes suggest that autoimmune reactions are linked to a depressed T cell function mainly in males, whereas the reverse is true for females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalLa Ricerca in Clinica e in Laboratorio
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autoimmunity
  • Complement
  • Immunological functions
  • Lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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