Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 151–155 | Cite as

Corticosteroid effects on circulating lymphocyte subset levels in normal humans

  • Burton Zweiman
  • Paul C. Atkins
  • Pierre-Michel Bedard
  • Sheryl L. Flaschen
  • Robert P. Lisak
Original Articles


The effects ofin vivo corticosteroid administration on levels of lymphocyte subsets in normal humans require further definition. Using monoclonal antibodies, we carried out a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral and intravenous methylprednisolone in 10 normal volunteers. Four hours after a 7-day oral course of 0.5 mg/kg/day, there was modest lymphopenia but no significant selective alteration in lymphocyte subsets. In contrast, 4 hr after a single intravenous injection of 1.0 mg/kg, there was more pronounced lymphopenia (P<0.01), a selective, relative decrease in T4 cells (P<0.001), and a more modest decrease in the percentage of T3 cells. The possible mechanisms and implication of these changes are discussed.

Key words

Corticosteroids lymphocyte subsets immunoregulation lymphopenia 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burton Zweiman
    • 1
  • Paul C. Atkins
    • 1
  • Pierre-Michel Bedard
    • 1
  • Sheryl L. Flaschen
    • 1
  • Robert P. Lisak
    • 2
  1. 1.Allergy and Immunology Section, Department of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania, School of MedicinePhiladelphia
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Pennsylvania, School of MedicinePhiladelphia

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