Systems Biology, Immunity, Biomarkers, and Aging

Many chronic diseases are age-associated, including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The elevating incidence of these disorders asks for the better understanding of the associations between the aging process and various diseases. With the increasing life expectancy in many countries, such investigation would also benefit healthy aging.

The terms of “immune aging” or “immunosenescence” have been used to describe the aging processes associated with the alterations of innate and adaptive immunity and the weakening of the immune functions (O’Connor et al., 2014). The elucidation of the interacting factors and changes in the aging processes based on systems biology studies may help explain the joint effects of the different parts in the biomedical system, such as the identification of biomarkers in age-associated diseases (Zierer et al., 2015).


O’Connor JE, Herrera G, Martínez-Romero A, de Oyanguren FS, Díaz L, Gomes A, Balaguer S, Callaghan RC. Systems Biology and immune aging. Immunol Lett. 2014 Nov;162(1 Pt B):334-45. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2014.09.009.

Zierer J, Menni C, Kastenmüller G, Spector TD. Integration of ‘omics’ data in aging research: from biomarkers to systems biology. Aging Cell. 2015 Aug 30. doi: 10.1111/acel.12386.

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