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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Sep;99(9):675-85.

Measuring lymphocyte kinetics in tropical field settings.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK.


Studies involving in-vivo labelling of lymphocyte DNA with 6,6-2H2-glucose to track T-cell turnover have contributed to understanding lymphocyte homeostasis in health and disease. Applying such studies in tropical settings (where diseases that affect T-cells are prevalent) requires protocol modifications including non-intravenous label administration, applicability in outpatient facilities, and T-cell sorting methods independent of a fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS). Such protocols were validated in UK pilot studies and applied in The Gambia. Healthy adult subjects (n=12) were recruited from three Gambian villages. 6,6-2H2-glucose was administered orally in an outpatient clinic and T-cell subpopulations isolated from peripheral blood using plastic adherence, and Multisorttrade mark magnetic cell sorting (MACStrade mark) to obtain CD8+CD45R0+, CD8-CD45R0+, CD8+CD45R0- and CD8-CD45R0- subsets. To achieve high cell purity and yield, CD45R0- cells were reincubated with CD45R0 beads. T-cell proliferation and disappearance were quantified using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Results were consistent with those of other studies showing higher turnover in memory (CD45R0+) than in naïve (CD45R0-) T-cell subsets, and an association between recent cell proliferation and susceptibility to cell death. Cell kinetics research is applicable in tropical settings, and can contribute to further understanding the regulation of adaptive immunity in response to infections and other insults.

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