Serial study of T lymphocytes in childhood leukemia during remission

Penny E. Lovat, John H. Robinson, Kevin P. Windebank, Jenny Kernahan, J. Graham Watson

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Peripheral blood T lymphocyte numbers and function were studied in 22 children on UKALL X maintenance chemotherapy over a 2-year period, and results were compared with 20 healthy children. CD4 and CD8 subsets were enumerated using indirect immunofluorescence, and specific (HSV-1) and polyclonal (Con A, PWM) activation was studied by proliferation and IL-2/IL-4 production in vitro. T lymphocytes were significantly decreased with a greater fall in CD4 than CD8 T lymphocyte numbers. Proliferation responses were slightly but significantly decreased whereas IL-2 and IL-4 production were not significantly different from control values. These findings suggest that decreased numbers of CD4 helper T cells may be the most important factor in clinical immunodeficiency during maintenance chemotherapy for cALL contributing to increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and argue against the presence of T lymphocytes with defective function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • T-Lymphocytes

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