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July 30, 2020

Understand why the coronavirus affects older people more severely and what is the link with the aging of the immune system?

Nicolas Manel co-leader of the VRI’s basic research division and team leader in the “Immunity and Cancer” Unit U932 (Institut Curie / Inserm / University of Paris).

The aim of the project is to study the impact of the immune system in the elderly on COVID-19 lung infection. Nicolas Manel’s team has developed models that can be used to reproduce the immune systems of elderly and young individuals and has demonstrated that macrophages, key cells of the immune system, exhibit different characteristics and function depending on age. In particular, macrophages in the lungs of elderly individuals greatly increase the expression of proteins known to promote infection by coronaviruses. This project will provide fundamental knowledge on the aging of the immune system, which is important for our understanding of COVID-19 but also of many cancers.