As part of a multi-year study of the effects of xenobiotics on the immune system of workers, blood (N = 100) was obtained from normal control volunteers from two worksites. The subjects (89 male and 11 female) were 31.9 +/- 8.5 (+/-SD) years old and 37% were current smokers. Statistical analyses indicated asymmetric distributions for percentages (%) of CD56 (natural killer) and CD19 (B-cell), while CD3+/CD4+ (T-helper/inducer), CD3+/CD8+ ( suppressor/cytotoxic) and CD3 (T-cell) had gaussian distributions. Percent-ages of total LY (median with 10th and 90th percentiles) were: CD3, 74. (61.66 to 84.36), CD3+/CD4+, 44.70 (34.56 to 57.98), CD3+/CD8+, 23.90 (14.16 to 31.59), CD56, 3.80 (1.11 to 6.79) and CD19, 14.00 (8.11 to 24.44). The distributions for the absolute number (#) of cells were asymmetric (P 0.05) for all surface markers studied. Median numbers of LY (with 10th and 90th percentiles) were: CD3, 1642(1170 to 2464), CD3+/CD4+, 987 (674 to 1548), CD3+/CD8+, 504 (338 to 832), CD56, 85 (20 to 180) andCD19, 320 (162 to 628). The median CD3+/CD4+:CD3+/CD8+ value was 1.87 (1.27 to 3.50) and also showed non-normal distribution characteristics. Significant age, sex and current smoking status associated differences, were observed for %s and #s of some subsets. These data indicate that the distributions for #s and %s of some lymphocyte subsets are not symmetrically distributed, and that sex, smoking status, and age can have significant effects on some subsets. These results indicate the need to carefully control for these factors in the design of exposure studies of the human immune system.
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 34th Annual Meeting, March 5-9,1995, Baltimore, Maryland