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T lymphocyte subsets in patients with newly diagnosed type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes: a prospective study

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T lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood from 11 newly diagnosed Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients were studied prospectively at three time intervals: as soon as possible after diagnosis, 3 weeks and 5 months later. Lymphocytes were marked with monoclonal OKT antibodies and examined in a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. The percentage of T lymphocytes (OKT3) did not change significantly at the three study times. The percentage of helper/inducer T cells (OKT4) was high the first week after diagnosis, but decreased at the 5-month examination (p less than 0.05). The percentage of suppressor/cytotoxic T cells (OKT8) was low at diagnosis but increased at 3 weeks (p less than 0.02) and 5 months (p less than 0.01). The ratio OKT4/OKT8 lymphocytes was 2.28 at diagnosis, decreasing to 1.77 at 3 weeks and 1.87 at 5 months, compared with 1.46 for 16 age-matched control subjects. There was no significant change in the absolute number of lymphocytes. It is concluded that the distribution of T cell subsets was abnormal at the time of diagnosis, but changed towards normal within a few weeks, after which there was no significant change at 5 months. It is as yet unknown whether the high proportion of helper/inducer T cells and/or the low percentage of suppressor/cytotoxic T cells at diagnosis favour immune reactions involved in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDiabetologia
Vol/bind25
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)247-51
Antal sider5
ISSN0012-186X
StatusUdgivet - sep. 1983

ID: 42203823