Considering the crucial pathogenic role of CD4+ T cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and the opposite direction of the sexual dimorphism in the severity of the disease in 22-24- and 3-month-old Dark Agouti rats, sex differences in CD4+ T-cell-mediated immune response in aged rats immunized for EAE were examined and compared with those in young animals. In the inductive phase of EAE, fewer activated CD4+ lymphocytes were retrieved from draining lymph nodes of male (developing less severe disease) compared with female rats, due, at least partly, to their lesser expansion. The former reflected a greater suppressive capacity of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ cells. Consequently, CD4+ lymphocyte infiltration into the spinal cord of aged male rats was diminished. At the peak of EAE, the frequency of reactivated cells was lower, whereas that of the regulatory CD4+ cells was higher in male rat spinal cord. Consistently, microglial activation and the expression of proinflammatory/damaging cytokines in male rat spinal cord mononuclear cells were diminished. Additionally, the frequency of the highly pathogenic IFN-γ+IL-17+T lymphocytes infiltrating their spinal cord was lower. Together, these results point to (i) an age-specificity in CD4+ cell-mediated immune response and (ii) mechanisms underlying the sex differences in this response in aged rats.