Research Article

Circadian variation of lymphocyte subpopulations: a study with monoclonal antibodies.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 04 June 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1773
  1. A W Ritchie,
  2. I Oswald,
  3. H S Micklem,
  4. J E Boyd,
  5. R A Elton,
  6. E Jazwinska,
  7. K James


    Use of monoclonal antibodies to identify subpopulations of circulating lymphocytes in healthy adults showed pronounced circadian variations in total T cells, the two major T cell subsets, and HLA-DR+ lymphocytes. When the results for the T cell subsets were expressed as a ratio (helper:suppressor) no significant rhythmic variation was observed. Lymphocytes bearing a surface antigen identified by the HNK-1 antibody (a population containing the natural killer and antibody dependent killer activity) did not show significant rhythmic variation. There was an inverse relation between plasma cortisol concentration and numbers of T and B cells. These observations have therapeutic implications and should be considered in the course of immunological monitoring.