David Furman describes the effect inflammation has on the aging process.  Inflammaging – chronic inflammation which occurs as we age – takes center stage at the nexus of age related pathologies.  A collaborative effort between the Buck Institute and Stanford reveals how inflammation can be measured and correlated with things like multimorbidity, aging, frailty, and all-cause mortality.  Old biomarkers such as hsCRP are unreliable – interest has instead shifted to IL-1b and CXCL9. 


Presentation: Systems Immunology of Aging to ​Enable Precision Preventative Medicine

  • Systems immunology of aging to enable position preventative medicine
  • There is tremendous variability in aging.
  • Systemic chronic inflammation is the hub of aging – it triggers all 9 hallmarks of aging.  Inflammation appears to be linked with other types of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders.

  • Age and infection are intertwined.

  • Systems immunology at Stanford includes a clinical team, bioinformatics, immunological expertise, and novel technology.  The goal is to generate new models and new therapeutics.

  • Multimorbidity is the highest priority for global health research.  It is estimated that the annual cost in the US is $3.5 Trillion.

  • Acute and chronic inflammation have different underlying mechanisms.  One key feature of chronic inflammation is the lack of canonical standard biomarkers.

  • hsCRP, a biomarker of chronic inflammation, is not a good predictor of aging or cardiovascular disease.

  • IL-1b is a better biomarker for sterile (chronic) inflammation.

  • Inflammasome gene modules are elevated in older adults and link hypertension, arterial stiffness, and longevity.

  • A neural network was used to analyze cytokines for association with aging.

  • Inflammatory age can predict multimorbidity.

  • Although there is a lot of variability, it appears inflammatory age plays a role in achieving centenarian status. 

  • Looking at the Jak-Stat pathway, inflammatory age level was correlated with poor immune responses across the board.

  • Inflammatory age predicts frailty 7 years in advance.

  • Gene expression inflammatory age predicts all-cause mortality.

  • The chemokine CXCL9 is heavily correlated with inflammatory age and endothelial cell aging.


Seminar summary by Aaron King.