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J Neurosurg. 1988 Apr;68(4):589-93.

Imbalances in T cell subpopulations in human gliomas.

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Department of Anatomy, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


The quantitation of cells bearing CD3, CD4, CD8, and B cell phenotypic markers, as well as an estimation of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgA, and IgM, was carried out in a group of 39 glioma patients with different grades of malignancy. The findings were compared with those obtained from 21 normal healthy control subjects. The analysis revealed a significant decrease both in the absolute numbers and in the percentages of circulating CD3+ (p less than 0.001) and CD4+ (p less than 0.001) cells, while the CD8+ and Pan B+ cells remained within the normal range irrespective of the type and grade of tumor. The CD4+:CD8+ ratio was significantly decreased in all categories of patients. The CD4 lymphopenia was also evident in 10 patients who had no history of previous immunosuppressive drug therapy (steroids and anticonvulsants) until the commencement of the study. The Ig levels were within the normal range in patients with malignant astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme, whereas a three- and fourfold increase in the IgM level was observed in patients with astrocytoma. It is suggested that T cell lymphopenia in glioma patients could mainly be due to a selective depletion of CD4+ cells and that it occurs principally as a reaction to the tumor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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