Study of lymphocyte subpopulations in normal humans and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus by fractionation of peripheral blood lymphocytes on a discontinuous Ficoll gradient

W. Glinski, M. Eric Gershwin, D. R. Budman, A. D. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Peripheral blood lymphocytes of 30 normal volunteers and 52 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were fractionated using a discontinuous (5-30%) Ficoll gradient. Such fractionation permitted the isolation, identification and study of null cells, T cells and B cells. Patients with inactive systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were found to have a cell distribution and responsiveness to PHA, Con A and Pokeweed mitogen (PWM) similar to controls. In contrast, patients with active SLE showed a significant decrease in T-cell fractions as well as a relative increase in null cells, a normal distribution of B cells, a marked reduction in responsiveness to Con A, a lesser reduction to PHA and only a minor reduction to PWM. With increasing disease activity, the number of null cells increased despite lymphopenia. Spontaneous lymphocyte transformation was observed in patients with SLE. This occurred predominantly in the fractions enriched in B cells and was observed both early (0-16 hr) and late (68-72 hr) in the lymphocyte cultures. The method of discontinuous Ficoll gradients is both versatile and reproducible with good correlations between isolated lymphoid subpopulations and disease activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume26
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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