Recently, we reported that murine antibody responses to the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pnu-Imune) vaccine declined with age. Here we present data to support the concept that age-associated immune defects are not only due to intrinsic defects in immune cells but are also due to extrinsic factors emanating from the neuroendocrine system. We found that supplementation with dehydroepiandrosterone, a steroid hormone known to be reduced in the aged, corrects the immune deficiency of aged mice and significantly enhanced their splenic immune responses to the Pnu-Imune vaccine.

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Published in Infection and Immunity, v. 61, no. 5, p. 2238-2241.

Copyright © 1993, American Society for Microbiology

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

Funding Information

This work is supported in part by the NIH grants AI21490, AG05731, and KO4AG00422 and by a grant from the Tobacco and Health Research Institute at the University of Kentucky.