Lymphocyte subpopulations in healthy 1-3-day-old infants

Maurice R.G. O'Gorman*, Dietra D. Millard, James N. Lowder, Ram Yogev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this study was to establish reference ranges for the major (B, T, and natural killer; NK) and clinically relevant minor lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of healthy 1-3-day-old infants and then to compare the results with those obtained in a group of healthy adults analyzed simultaneously. Forty-three infants aged 1-3 days and 38 healthy adults were recruited to the study to establish the median, 10th, and 90th percentiles of the proportions and absolute numbers of relevant lymphocyte subsets. The samples obtained from the healthy adults served as a flow cytometry process control in addition to providing a group comparator. The peripheral blood of the newborns (vs. adults) contained elevated proportions of total T cells (83% vs. 77%) and T helper cells (63% vs. 46%), with decreased proportions of T suppressor/cytotoxic cells (23% vs. 28%) and NK cells (4% vs. 10.5%). The newborns had a higher proportion (P < 0.0001) of immature B lymphocytes compared with those of adults (CD10+CD19+, 1.5% vs. 0% and CD20+CD5+, 13% vs. 6%), and the proportion of activated T cells was significantly lower (P < 0.0001; CD3+CD25+, 7.0% vs. 15%;CD3+HLA-DR+, 2.0% vs. 6% and CD8 and CD57, 0.0% vs. 8.0%). In contrast, the proportions of neonatal CD8 cells expressing CD28 (90.2% vs. 67.7%) and CD38 (96.6% vs. 70.9%) were significantly higher (P < 0.0001). The reference ranges for 1-3- day-old healthy newborns generated in this study provides a valuable tool for the assessment of immune abnormalities in very young infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications in Clinical Cytometry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 15 1998


  • CD16/56
  • CD19
  • CD3
  • CD4
  • CD8
  • Flow cytometry
  • Lymphocyte subsets
  • Pediatric
  • Reference ranges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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