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Life Sci. 2001 Jun 8;69(3):255-62.

Short-term hyperglycemia induces lymphopenia and lymphocyte subset redistribution.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


Alterations in lymphocytes are a common finding in both type I and type II diabetes. Autoimmune phenomena in type I diabetes, the stage of the diabetic disorder and metabolic effects of therapeutic interventions may also affect actual distribution of lymphocyte phenotypes. This study investigated immunological effects specific to standardized hyperglycemia in non-diabetic individuals to exclude immunological changes potentially related to diabetes stage and treatment. 37 subjects (mean age +/- SD 39 +/- 5 years) underwent a sequence-controlled crossover with oral administration of a solution containing either 75 g glucose or artificial sweetener (i.e. placebo). At rest and at two hours, counts of white blood cells (WBC), mixed lymphocytes, mature T-cells (CD3), T-helper cells (CD4), T-suppressor/ cytotoxic cells (CD8), B-cells (CD19), natural killer cells (CD16/CD56), and interleukin-2 receptor bearing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (CD25) were measured by flow cytometry. Subjects showed a significant decrease in WBC, lymphocytes, and all lymphocyte subsets with the OGTT compared with the placebo solution (p < .05 to p < .001). In non-diabetic individuals, short-term hyperglycemia induces immunological changes that may be relevant to explain similar findings in patients with diabetes mellitus. Future studies need to validate these findings and their potential clinical implications in a diabetic population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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