Healthy ageing and depletion of intracellular glutathione influences T cell membrane thioredoxin-1 levels and cytokine secretion


Background: During ageing an altered redox balance has been observed in both intracellular and extracellular compartments, primarily due to glutathione depletion and metabolic stress. Maintaining redox homeostasis is important for controlling proliferation and apoptosis in response to specific stimuli for a variety of cells. For T cells, the ability to generate specific response to antigen is dependent on the oxidation state of cell surface and cytoplasmic protein-thiols. Intracellular thiols are maintained in their reduced state by a network of redox regulating peptides, proteins and enzymes such as glutathione, thioredoxins and thioredoxin reductase. Here we have investigated whether any relationship exists between age and secreted or cell surface thioredoxin-1, intracellular glutathione concentration and T cell surface thioredoxin 1 (Trx-1) and how this is related to interleukin (IL)-2 production.Results: Healthy older adults have reduced lymphocyte surface expression and lower circulating plasma Trx-1 concentrations. Using buthionine sulfoximine to deplete intracellular glutathione in Jurkat T cells we show that cell surface Trx-1 is lowered, secretion of Trx-1 is decreased and the response to the lectin phytohaemagglutinin measured as IL-2 production is also affected. These effects are recapitulated by another glutathione depleting agent, diethylmaleate.Conclusion: Together these data suggest that a relationship exists between the intracellular redox compartment and Trx-1 proteins. Loss of lymphocyte surface Trx-1 may be a useful biomarker of healthy ageing. © 2013 Carilho Torrao et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: © 2013 Carilho Torrao et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing,cysteine,membrane protein,redox,reduced glutathione,thioredoxin-1,Chemistry(all)
Publication ISSN: 1752-153X
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 07:09
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2013 13:00
Full Text Link: http://journal. ... content/7/1/150
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2013-09-05
Authors: Carilho Torrão, Rita B.D.
Dias, Irundika H.K. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-6620-8221)
Bennett, Stuart J.
Dunston, Christopher R
Griffiths, Helen R. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2666-2147)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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