Using a T cell receptor transgenic (TCR Tg) mouse model, we have shown that TCR Tg CD4 cells from aged mice retain a naive phenotype, but exhibit reduced proliferation and IL-2 production in response to the antigen compared with cells from young mice. We hypothesize that age-related decreases in T cell function may be partly related to the age of the T cells. Because thymic output is decreased with age, peripheral T cells in older individuals are likely to be older than those in younger individuals. To investigate this possibility, we have manipulated the age of CD4 T cells in the periphery of young and aged mice. The production of new T cells was induced by depleting peripheral CD4 T cells or by creating bone marrow chimeras. In both young and aged individuals where we induced the production of new T cells, these newly generated cells exhibited robust responses to antigen ex vivo and in vivo, exhibiting good expansion, IL-2 production, and cognate helper function. Our results suggest that age-related defects in response to antigenic stimulation, in part, are caused by the age of the CD4 T cells.