The role of immune aging in giant cell arteritis | Harkins | Aging Pathobiology and Therapeutics

The role of immune aging in giant cell arteritis

Patricia Harkins, Sharon Cowley, Robert Harrington, David Kane, Richard Conway


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a granulomatous vasculitis with a predilection for medium and large calibre arteries. The most significant risk factor for its development is advancing age, with a peak incidence in the seventh and eighth decades of life. Despite this, until recently, the role of aging in disease pathogenesis has been largely overlooked. Advancing age is associated with numerous alterations in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Indeed, there is significant overlap in the cellular and molecular pathways involved in immune aging and those observed in the pathogenesis of GCA. In this review, we explore these similarities and further expand the discussion on the postulated role of accelerated immune aging in the pathogenesis of GCA. With the dramatic increase in lifespan in recent decades, elucidating the potential role of early immune aging in disease pathogenesis is extremely pertinent, with the potential to offer a new therapeutic avenue not only for those with GCA, but for all immune-mediated rheumatic diseases.

Keywords: Aging, giant cell arteritis, vasculitis, inflammaging, immunosenescence

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