Chronic systematic inflammation and reduced immune system fitness are considered potential contributing factors to the development of age-related frailty, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. This exploratory study aimed to identify frailty-related inflammatory markers and immunological phenotypes in a cohort of community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 55 years. Frailty was assessed using two models, a Frailty Index and a categorical phenotype, and correlated with levels of circulating immune biomarkers and markers of senescence in immune cell subsets. We identified eight serological biomarkers that were associated with frailty, including sgp130, IL-2Rα, I-309, MCP-1, BCA-1, RANTES, leptin, and IL-6R. Frailty Index was inversely predicted by the frequency of CD3+, CD45RA+, and central memory CD4 cells, and positively predicted by the loss of CD28 expression, especially in CD8+ T cells, while frailty status was predicted by the frequency of terminal effector CD8+ T cells. In γ/δ T cells, frailty was negatively associated with CD27, and positively associated with IFNγ+TNFα- secretion by γ/δ2+ cells and IFNγ-TNFα+ secretion by γ/δ2- cells. Increased numbers of exhausted and CD38+ B cells, as well as CD14+CD16+ inflammatory monocytes, were also identified as frailty-associated phenotypes. This pilot study supports an association between inflammation, cellular immunity, and the process of frailty. These findings have significance for the early identification of frailty using circulating biomarkers prior to clinical manifestations of severe functional decline in the elderly.
Lu, Y., Ying Tan, C. T., Zin Nyunt, M. S., Hei Mok, E. W., Camous, X., Kared, H., … Larbi, A. (2016). Inflammatory and immune markers associated with physical frailty syndrome: Findings from Singapore longitudinal aging studies. Oncotarget, 7(20), 28783–28795. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8939