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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


GOMEZ, Alberto et al. Peripheral blood lymphocyte CD4 and CD8 co-expression in HIV positive patients. Infect. [online]. 2008, vol.12, n.4, pp.267-276. ISSN 0123-9392.

Objective: Membrane co-expression of CD4 and CD8 molecules in peripheral blood leukocytes is usually restricted to acute prolymphocytic T cell leukemia or adult T cell leukemias, and it does not represent more than 3-5% of peripheral T lymphocytes in non-leukemic patients. The aim of this work was to define the frequency of CD4+CD8+ lymphocytes among all the patient samples received at a reference laboratory in Colombia during 2007. Design: A total of 1,883 different samples were typed for T cell subpopulations in 2007, and the corresponding results were reviewed. Additionally, 142 samples received and typed in January 2008 were tabulated in order to establish reference values. Materials and methods: Whole blood samples were labeled with fluorescent monoclonal antibodies using the Cyto-Stat® triCHROME™ CD8-FITC/CD4-RD1/CD3-PC5 reagent and thereafter processed in an Epics XL-MCL cytometer. Results: The review of all of the patients analysed in 2007 revealed the existence of 2 individuals (0.11%) in which we found high levels of CD4+CD8+ membrane co-expression. Conclusions: The finding of this rare lymphocytic phenotype in peripheral blood of non-leukemic patients should alert the laboratories that in typing CD4+ lymphocytes alone and not evaluating CD3 and CD8 markers, they might be overestimating the real percentages of CD4+CD8-cells on some patients, as well as underestimating an uncommon lymphocyte subpopulation that has been characterized as functionally distinct in a variety of infections and experimental models.

Keywords : CD4+ lymphocytes; CD8+ lymphocytes; CD4+CD8+ lymphocytes; HIV.

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