Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 24 pp 12685—12707

Combination of lymphocyte number and function in evaluating host immunity

Ying Luo1, , Yalong Xie2, , Weijie Zhang2, , Qun Lin1, , Guoxing Tang1, , Shiji Wu1, , Min Huang1, , Botao Yin1, , Jin Huang1, , Wei Wei1, , Jing Yu1, , Hongyan Hou1, , Liyan Mao1, , Weiyong Liu1, , Feng Wang1, *, , Ziyong Sun1, *, ,

  • 1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • 2 Institute of Organ Transplantation, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
* Equal contribution

Received: August 29, 2019       Accepted: November 30, 2019       Published: December 20, 2019
How to Cite

Copyright © 2019 Luo et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Accurate monitoring of host immunity is hampered by the flaws of conventional tests. The relationship between lymphocyte number and function is unknown. The function of lymphocytes was analyzed based on IFN-γ secretion assay. Lymphocyte number and function was investigated in individuals under various states. The number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was gradually decreased, whereas the function of them was gradually increased with increasing age. A significantly negative correlation existed between the number and function of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Differently, both the number and function of NK cells are maintained at a high level after birth. Staying up all night was found to impair the function of CD4+, CD8+ T cells, or NK cells. Lymphocyte number and function were both decreased in patients with immunosuppressive conditions or opportunistic infections, while the opposite phenomenon was observed in patients with some autoimmune diseases (except for NK cells). In kidney transplant recipients, the number and function of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were increased or decreased when rejection or infection occurred. We demonstrated that evaluation of host immunity based on combination of lymphocyte number and function plays an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of diseases.


AIH: autoimmune hepatitis; APC-Cy7: Allophycocyanin Cy7; BMI: body mass index; CFSE: carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester; CN: Cryptococcus neoformans; CVs: coefficients of variations; HPV: human papillomavirus; IFN-γ: interferon-gamma; MCTD: mixed connective tissue disease; PC: Pneumocystis carinii; PBS: phosphate buffered saline; PE: Phycoerythrin; PMA/Ionomycin: phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate/Ionomycin; RA: rheumatoid arthritis; SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus; SS: Sjögren syndrome; TP: Treponema pallidum; UC: ulcerative colitis.