The subpopulation of T-lymphocytes in circulating blood were studied in 17 patients with autoimmune hemolytic diseases in order to establish if in this syndrome an imbalance exists in the subpopulations of T-helper and T-suppressor cells, as recently described by some authors. The study was performed by the indirect immunofluorescence method, employing monoclonal antibodies against surface antigens that characterize lymphocytes according to their functional modulation. The results of this study, supported by other immunological, serological and immunochemical parameters, demonstrate that out of 15 patients examined in a complete fashion. 8 showed an imbalance between the number of T-helper and T-suppressor cells, but in contrast to the findings observed by other authors, this defect does not consist of a deficit of T-suppressor cells, but rather their increase with respect to T-helper cells. Only in 1 patient with SLE, before corticosteroid therapy, was the ratio between the two lymphocyte subsets in favor of the T-helper cells. Taking into account the recent observation of a functional heterogeneity of the T-lymphocyte subpopulation that, on the basis of monoclonal antibodies employed have a helper function, we must conclude that the immunological evaluation of the immune system with the monoclonal antibodies utilized in this study does not exactly reflect the actual function of T-lymphocyte subpopulations or, at least, that not all forms of autoimmune hemolytic diseases are supported, from the pathogenetic viewpoint, by a deficit of T-suppressor lymphocytes. In order to obtain more precise data, further studies are necessary on a larger number of patients and above all the use of more direct methods of functional evaluation of T-lymphocyte subpopulations is required.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1983|
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