Preface. 1. The OCTO and NONA immune longitudinal studies: a review of 11 years' studies of Swedish very old humans (A. Wikby, B. Johansson, F. Ferguson). 2. Immune measures which predict nine-year survival in an elderly population sample (F. Huppert, E. Pinto et al.). 3. Immunological and immunogenetic markers of successful and unsuccessful ageing (G. Candore, G. Colonna-Romano et al.). 4. Developmental aspects of the thymus in ageing (A. Globerson). 5. Effective immunity during late life: a possible role for the thymus (J. Pindo-Lopez, R. Aspinall). 6. Alterations in signal transduction in T lymphocytes and neutrophils with ageing (T. Fulop, K. Hirokawa et al.). 7. CD28 downregulation and expression of NK-associated receptors on T cells in ageing and situations of chronic activation of the immune system (J. Casado, O. DelaRosa et al.). 8. Characterization of NK cells in the elderly(E. Mariani, A. Facchini). 9. T cell ageing and immune surveillance (J. McLeod). 10. A road to ruins: an insight into immunosenescence (S. Gupta). 11. Genetic damage and ageing T cells (O. Ross, M. Curran et al.). 12. Role of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a protein with multiple intracellular functions, in cells of the ageing immune system(D. Frasca, L. Guidi, G. Doria). 13. Linker histone H1o gene expression during ageing and after the effect of histone deacetylase inhibitors in human diploid fibroblasts and T lymphocytes (T.G. Sourlingas, K.E. Sekeri-Pataryas). 14.Zinc and the immune system of elderly (K.-H. Ibs, P. Gabriel, L. Rink). 15. Altered zinc binding by metallothioneins in immune-neuroendocrine senescence: a vicious circle between metallothioneins and chaperones? (E. Mocchegiani, R. Giacconi et al.). 16. T cell exhaustion and ageing: Is replicative senescence relevant? (R.B. Effros). 17.Cultured T cell clones as models for immunosenescence (G. Pawelec).