T Cell Heterogeneity and Lymphoid Cell Populations in Normal Humans and Rheumatoid Arthritis Probed by Partitioning
A major advance in our understanding of the immune system has resulted from our ability to subdivide immune cells into several populations based on surface markers and functional characteristics. In the case of lymphocytes, T cells regulate antibody production and mediate “cellular immunity”, B cells produce antibody, and “null” cells (not B or T) some of which act as “killer” cells against a variety of target cells without the requirement for prior immunization. Further understanding has come from the development of monoclonal antibodies that distinguish helper/inducer T cells from those with suppressor/cytotoxic activity . More recently, these T cell subpopulations have been further subdivided into subsets with newer antibodies. Partitioning in two-polymer aqueous phase systems has been useful both to analyse lymphocyte heterogeneity and to subfractionate and partially purify lymphocyte subpopulations based on surface properties . In the case of lymphocytes, studies using charge-sensitive phase systems show that humans  rats  and mice  have the same basic partitioning behaviour of the major subpopulations: B cells have a low partition ratio (P), T cells have an intermediate P value and the null cells have the highest ratio.
KeywordsLymphocyte Subpopulation Null Cell Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte Large Granular Lymphocyte Countercurrent Distribution
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