Leukocyte subset analysis and related immunological findings in acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome (AIDS) and malignancies.

E. M. Hersh, P. W. Mansell, J. M. Reuben, A. Rios, G. R. Newell, A. L. Goldstein, K. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cell surface marker analyses conducted on human peripheral blood lymphoid cells have proven extremely useful in the diagnosis of immunodeficiency and the diagnosis and staging of malignancies. In this paper we have focused on the ratio of helper to suppressor cells in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome and in patients with malignancy. In thirty-three patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, the majority showed an inverted helper:suppressor ratio, elevated serum thymosin alpha 1, and elevated serum lysozyme levels. The inverted ratio was due to a deficiency in T-helper cells. The inverted helper:suppressor ratio was associated with functional suppressor cell activity that was seen in 12 out of 21 patients examined. Patients' lymphocytes were found to suppress the PHA, pokeweed mitogen, and concanavalin-A responses of normal subjects' lymphocytes. The suppression also correlated with impaired lymphocyte proliferative responses among the patients' cells themselves. Because of these findings, the helper:suppressor ratio was studied in patients with solid tumors, lymphoma, acute leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and hairy cell leukemia. Approximately 30% of these patients have an inverted helper:suppressor ratio. However, in ten out of 30 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and in three out of 45 patients with lymphoma, the helper:suppressor ratio was elevated, being greater than 3.0. The significance of these findings is as yet to be explored, but it is suggested that an inverted helper:suppressor ratio in patients with malignancy may relate to an advanced stage of disease or a poor prognosis. Documentation of this point will require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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