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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1997 Aug;84(2):122-8.

Analysis of blood lymphocyte subsets in children living on territory that received high amounts of fallout from Chernobyl accident.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Academy of Medical Sciences, Kiev, Ukraine.


The major lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood were assessed in 120 children 6-13 years old living on areas that received high levels of radioactivity as fallout after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Seventy-one of the children were suffering from recurrent respiratory disease (RRDC) and 49 were not (non-RRDC). As controls, a total of 87 RRDC and non-RRDC living on noncontaminated areas were evaluated. We did not find significant differences in major lymphocyte subsets between the values in non-RRDC living on radionuclide-contaminated areas and noncontaminated areas. However, RRDC living on radionuclide-contaminated areas had a significantly lower percentage of CD3+ T and CD3+CD4+ T-helper/ inducer cells compared to control RRDC. Furthermore, the decrease in percentage of CD3+CD4+ cells was more profound in RRDC living in radiation-contaminated settlements with an average summary dose (ASD) Cs-137(134) and Sr-90 for the population > 1.0 mSv than in RRDC living in contaminated settlements with an ASD Cs-137(134) and Sr-90 < 1.0 mSv. These data indicated that long-time exposure to small doses of radiation could affect the immune system in children living around Chernobyl.

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