Numerical and functional deficiency in T helper cells in protein energy malnutrition

Clin Exp Immunol. 1983 Jan;51(1):126-32.


Protein energy malnutrition decreased the number of rosette forming T lymphocytes, of T4 positive cells and their ability to provide help to B cells in antibody synthesis. There was a reduction in serum thymic hormone activity and an elevation of leucocyte terminal transferase and plasma cortisol levels. The numberical and functional deficiency of T4+ helper cells may be important in the pathogenesis of some of the clinical and immunological manifestations of protein energy malnutrition.

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase / blood
  • Female
  • Hemolytic Plaque Technique
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Infant
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / blood
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / immunology*
  • Rosette Formation
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating / metabolism


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase
  • Hydrocortisone