Down's syndrome: problems of immunodeficiency.

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The high susceptibility to infections, malignancies, and autoimmune disorders of subjects with Down's syndrome (DS) is associated with laboratory and pathological evidence of immunodeficiency. The percentage of circulating T-lymphocytes is indeed low from birth, and lymphocyte proliferative response to mitogens, normal during the 1st decade of life, declines rapidly thereafter. There is indirect evidence that T-lymphocyte maturation is impaired in DS; furthermore, the thymus is morphologically deranged and there is recent direct evidence that serum levels of thymic hormones are low. It is suggested that the immunodeficiency of DS results from a defect limited primarily to the epithelial cells of the thymus which fail to synthesize or secrete one or more hormones necessary for the differentiation of T-lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalHuman genetics. Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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