Aging influences the response of T cells to stimulation by the ellagitannin, oenothein B

Andrew G. Ramstead, Igor A. Schepetkin, Kimberly Todd, James Loeffelholz, James G. Berardinelli, Mark T. Quinn, Mark A. Jutila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Several plant extracts, including certain polyphenols, prime innate lymphocytes and enhance responses to secondary stimuli. Oenothein B, a polyphenol isolated from Epilobium angustifolium and other plant sources, enhances IFNγ production by both bovine and human NK cells and T cells, alone and in response to secondary stimulation by cytokines or tumor cells. Innate immune cell responsiveness is known to be affected by aging, but whether polyphenol responses by these cells are also impacted by aging is not known. Therefore, we examined oenothein B responsiveness in T cells from cord blood, young, and adult donors. We found that oenothein B stimulates bovine and human T cells from individuals over a broad range of ages, as measured by increased IL-2Rα and CD69 expression. However, clear differences in induction of cytokine production by T cells were seen. In T cells from human cord blood and bovine calves, oenothein B was unable to induce IFNγ production. However, oenothein B induced IFNγ production by T cells from adult humans and cattle. In addition, oenothein B induced GM-CSF production by human adult T cells, but not cord blood T cells. Within the responsive T cell population, we found that CD45RO + memory T cells expressed more cytokines in response to oenothein B than CD45RO - T cells. In summary, our data suggest that the immunostimulation of T cells by oenothein B is influenced by age, particularly with respect to immune cytokine production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine
  • GM-CSF
  • Human
  • Interferon-γ
  • Memory T cells
  • Polyphenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology

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