Lymphocytes in patients with variable immunodeficiency and panhypogammaglobulinemia. Evaluation of B and T cell surface markers and a proposed classification

J Clin Invest. 1974 Mar;53(3):834-40. doi: 10.1172/JCI107623.


Peripheral blood lymphocytes from 15 patients with variable immunodeficiency and severe panhypogammaglobulinemia were evaluated for B and T cell surface markers. B cells were enumerated by immunofluorescent detection of both surface immunoglobulin (Ig) and the ability to bind aggregated Ig complexes. T cells were identified by their ability to form nonimmune rosettes with sheep red blood cells. Four distinct patterns were observed which were designated types I-IV. Type I: six patients had normal percentages (8.5-19.0%) of Ig-bearing B lymphocytes. Type II: four patients were observed to have B lymphocytes (4.5-15.0%) which lacked fluorescence-detectable surface Ig. Type III: the peripheral blood of these four patients contained a subpopulation (11.3-20.0%) of lymphocytes which apparently lacked both B and T cell markers ("null" cells). Type IV: one patient's blood was characterized by a subpopulation (18.0-22.0%) of lymphocytes which bore both B and T cell markers. Patients of each type had some clinical features in common. It is concluded that evaluation of lymphocyte surface markers provides a means of separating patients with variable immunodeficiency and panhypogammaglobulinemia into distinct groups which appear to differ in the nature of their fundamental defect.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agammaglobulinemia / blood
  • Agammaglobulinemia / classification
  • Agammaglobulinemia / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / immunology*
  • Cell Wall
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / blood
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / classification
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Binding
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin G