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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1994 Feb;70(2):152-8.

Age-related changes in human blood lymphocyte subpopulations. II. Varying kinetics of percentage and absolute count measurements.

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Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems, Erembodegem-Aalst, Belgium.


A reference range for lymphocyte populations, with particular emphasis on T lymphocyte subsets, was obtained for normal individuals covering age cohorts from birth through adulthood. This report confirms and extends findings from a developmental reference range published earlier (1). Absolute numbers of WBC, lymphocytes, and T, B, and NK subsets decline significantly during childhood. However, differences in the rate of decline of certain lymphocyte subsets leads to discordance between absolute numbers and percentages. Those lymphocyte subsets which decline less rapidly with age than the total lymphocyte count will show an increase in percentage, whereas those which decline more rapidly will show further declines in percentage values. T cell percentages were seen to increase over time whereas B cell percentages decline. Markers of immaturity such as CD45RA on CD4 cells and CD38 on CD8 cells declined in both percentages and absolute numbers. Activation markers, such as HLA-DR on CD8 cells and IL2-R on CD3 cells, increased in percentages with time but changed inconsistently in cell number from infancy to adulthood. These findings extend the lymphocyte references range to markers thought to be informative in various disease states, including HIV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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