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Cytometry. 1996 Mar 15;26(1):8-15.

Age- and sex-related changes in lymphocyte subpopulations of healthy Asian subjects: from birth to adulthood.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, National University of Singapore, Singapore. paeleebw@leonis.nus.sg

Abstract

Flow cytometric analysis of lymphocyte subsets were evaluated in 391 healthy Asian subjects ranging in age from birth to 40 years. Lymphocyte subsets were analysed using specific monoclonal antibodies: CD20 (B cells), CD3 and CD2 (T cells), CD16 and CD56+ (NK cells), CD4/CD3+ (helper-inducer T cells), CD8/ CD3+ (suppressor/cytotoxic T cells), HLA-DR expression on CD3 and CD25 (Tac) on CD3. The total white cell count, absolute lymphocyte counts, and B cell percentages peaked in infancy and declined steadily with age. Absolute counts of each subset, which were derived from absolute lymphocyte counts, also followed this trend. Increases with age were seen in the NK, T cell (CD2, CD3), and CD8 percentages. Males tended to have higher NK and CD8 percentages than females, and, conversely, females had higher CD3 and CD4 percentages than males. Comparison of our results with studies involving Caucasian subjects indicated higher NK percentages in our Asian population and lower CD4 absolute counts in the males of our population. These results indicate the presence of age, sex, and probable racial differences in lymphocyte subset expression. Our results may serve as reference standards for the Asian population.

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