The role of late-differentiated T cells, a proxy for IFN-γ-production, in older adults’ social networks

Elana M. Gloger, Stephanie T. Judge, Rebecca G. Reed, Steven R. Presnell, Ahmad Al-Attar, Charles T. Lutz, Suzanne C. Segerstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), an inflammatory biomarker that promotes antiviral immunity, may be a prerequisite for sociability. IFN-γ production in older adulthood is driven by late-differentiated CD8+ T cells, particularly CD28and CD57+ subsets, which increase with age, reduce immune response, and increase chronic disease risk. The present study investigated the relationship between late-differentiated T cells (LDTC) and sociability in a longitudinal study of healthy aging. 139 older adults (Mage = 77.95, range 65–93; 58% female, 57% college educated, and 94% Caucasian) provided data at up to 10 occasions (M = 7). Social network size and diversity and cytomegalovirus (CMV) status were collected at every wave. Percentage of LDTC was measured at up to 4 waves and averaged for each participant. There were no significant main effects of LDTC or interactions between LDTC and time on social network size or diversity. Adjustment for baseline age, gender, and sensitivity analyses including CMV and imputed data did not change results. IFN-γ may not play a role in dictating social behavior in older adults. Alternately, LDTC may not have accurately represented circulating levels of IFN-γ. Future work should continue exploring IFN-γ and social behavior, particularly as it relates to age-related changes. The role of IFN-γ-producing, late-differentiated T cells in older adults’ social networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100512
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health
StatePublished - Nov 2022

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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