Scientists have revealed the secret of a record-long life

A team of researchers from the center for integrative medicine at the RIKEN Institute and the school of Medicine at Keio University (Japan) conducted a cell analysis and found that people aged 110 years and more have an excess of specific immune cells — cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, which protect centenarians from infections and cancer. This is reported by Science Daily.

In Japan, there is a large number of centenarians. According to a count made in 2015, there are more than 61,000 people older than 100 years and 146 older than 110 years. Studies have shown that these people were almost immune to infections and did not suffer from cancer. This led scientists to think that perhaps centenarians have a very strong immune system.

The team carried out cell analysis in two groups of people — those who overcame the 110-year mark and those who were aged 50-80 years. It turned out that the first had one and a half times more immune cells. In particular, they had excessive levels of cytotoxic CD4 T lymphocytes, which attack tumors and cells affected by viruses and bacteria.

The authors note that usually cytotoxic cells are with the marker CD8, but in this case, this status was acquired by CD4-positive T-lymphocytes. 

Thus, thanks to such immune cells, which mostly occur in small numbers, the body of long-living people is not exposed to the development of dangerous diseases. This discovery, the scientists conclude, provides new insight into how the immune system of centenarians is protected from infections and cancer.

Nov. 15, 2019, 10:53 a.m.

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