Immune function in healthy inner-city children

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 Jul;8(4):740-6. doi: 10.1128/CDLI.8.4.740-746.2001.


The importance of investigating immunity in healthy children has been underscored in the last few years by studies of the immune pathology of childhood illnesses, including human immunodeficiency virus. This study reports both ennumerative and functional immune measures in healthy inner city children. A total of 152 of 207 children studied were completely heathy at the time of venipuncture and were included in this study. Laboratory immune batteries were completed (or begun) the same day as venipuncture. Relationships between age, gender, ethnicity, and immunity were then analyzed. We found that gender predicted both the absolute number and the percentage of T cells and helper cells and the percentage of natural killer cells. Total leukocyte counts and percentages of lymphocytes and granulocytes were related to ethnicity, as was the response to mitogen stimulation (concanavalin A and pokeweed mitogen) and phagocytic ability. In conclusion, age, gender, and ethnicity factors were found to contribute to differences in various immune measures in children and require further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Granulocytes / immunology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • K562 Cells
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Pokeweed Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Regression Analysis


  • Mitogens
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Pokeweed Mitogens
  • Concanavalin A