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.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Human genetics. Supplement|
|Publication status||Published - 1981|
ASJC Scopus subject areas