Nan-ping Weng. Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, United States; Mechanisms of Aging and Development 2008
The adaptive immune response relies on the ability of lymphocytes to undergo periodic massive expansion. It is an enigma how lymphocytes are able to undergo this seemingly unlimited number of cell divisions. Telomeres and telomerase play a critical role in regulation of the replicative lifespan of cells, providing a potential mechanism which lymphocytes may employ. Here I will review the recent progress of the role of telomeres and telomerase in lymphocyte differentiation, function, and aging.