The extent to which immune processes contribute to senescence-related neurological/behavioral impairment was examined using an adoptive transfer procedure. C57BL/6 mice aged 22 to 24 months showed impaired ability for acquisition of an active avoidance response when compared with younger mice aged 3 months. An immunofluorescence assay of the sera of these mice indicated that only sera from the senescent mice reacted with brain antigen. When tested three months following irradiation and receipt of bone marrow/spleen cell suspensions from senescent mice, young mice showed senescence-like serum-brain reactivity and declines in their abilities to acquire learning. Young control mice receiving cell suspensions from age-matched donors showed no evidence of serum-brain reactivity or learning deficits, suggesting that impaired learning was related to acquisition of aged immunity and not a nonspecific effect of the transfer procedure. These findings indicate that immune processes may be involved in the etiology of senescence-related neurological/behavioral dysfunctions.