• Article

The influence of age, race, and gender on peripheral blood mononuclear-cell subsets in healthy nonsmokers

To investigate the influence of age, race, and gender on the cellular immune system, we determined T-cell, B-cell, monocyte, natural killer (NK)-cell, and HLA-DR+-cell subsets in 266 nonsmokers from a population-based random sample of healthy adults using monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry. Blacks had a lower total white blood-cell count than whites (P less than or equal to 0.0001), due primarily to a decrease in granulocytes. There was no significant difference in absolute lymphocyte count between blacks and whites. Blacks had a higher proportion of CD19+ cells (Leu 12+ B cells) and a lower proportion of CD3+ cells (OKT3+ T cells) than whites (P less than or equal to 0.01). Female sex and increasing age were independently associated with an increased percentage of CD4+ cells (OKT4A+ helper-inducer T-cell subset), resulting in a higher helper/suppressor ratio among women and older individuals (P less than or equal to 0.05). Black race and increasing age were independently associated with an increased proportion of HLA-DR+ cells (P less than or equal to 0.0001) which was not attributable to B cells or monocytes. No significant age, race, or gender effects were observed for CD14+ cells (Leu M3+ monocytes) or CD16+ cells (Leu 11A+ natural killer cells). These data demonstrate that age, race, and gender are each associated with significant differences in peripheral blood mononuclear-cell subsets. Population-based data such as these provide an important foundation for future design and interpretation of human flow cytometry data.

Citation

Tollerud, D. J., Clark, J. W., Brown, L. M., Neuland, C. Y., Pankiw-Trost, L. K., Blattner, W. A., & Hoover, R. N. (1989). The influence of age, race, and gender on peripheral blood mononuclear-cell subsets in healthy nonsmokers. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 9(3), 214-22.