Identification of a T cell gene expression clock obtained by exploiting a MZ twin design

Remondini, Daniel ; Intrator, Nathan ; Sala, Claudia ; Pierini, Michela ; Garagnani, Paolo ; Zironi, Isabella ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Salvioli, Stefano ; Castellani, Gastone (2017) Identification of a T cell gene expression clock obtained by exploiting a MZ twin design. Scientific Reports, 7 . ISSN 2045-2322
Full text available as:
[thumbnail of T cell clock_Remondini Intrator_SciRep17.pdf]
License: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Download (1MB) | Preview


Many studies investigated age-related changes in gene expression of different tissues, with scarce agreement due to the high number of affecting factors. Similarly, no consensus has been reached on which genes change expression as a function of age and not because of environment. In this study we analysed gene expression of T lymphocytes from 27 healthy monozygotic twin couples, with ages ranging over whole adult lifespan (22 to 98 years). This unique experimental design allowed us to identify genes involved in normative aging, which expression changes independently from environmental factors. We obtained a transcriptomic signature with 125 genes, from which chronological age can be estimated. This signature has been tested in two datasets of same cell type hybridized over two different platforms, showing a signifcantly better performance compared to random signatures. Moreover, the same signature was applied on a dataset from a different cell type (human muscle). A lower performance was obtained, indicating the possibility that the signature is T cell-specific. As a whole our results suggest that this approach can be useful to identify age-modulated genes.

Document type
Remondini, DanielDIFA Bologna University0000-0003-3185-7456
Intrator, NathanTel Aviv University
Sala, ClaudiaDIFA Bologna University
Pierini, MichelaRizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
Garagnani, PaoloDIMES Bologna University
Zironi, IsabellaDIFA Bologna University
Franceschi, ClaudioIRCCS Neurological Sciences Bologna
Salvioli, StefanoDIMES Bologna University
Castellani, GastoneDIFA Bologna University
Deposit date
02 Oct 2017 10:09
Last modified
02 Oct 2017 10:09
Project name
MISSION-T2D - Multiscale Immune System Simulator for the ONset of Type 2 Diabetes integrating genetic, metabolic and nutritional data
Funding program
EC - FP7

Other metadata



Staff only: View the document