Reversible alterations in immunoregulatory T cells in smoking. Analysis by monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry

Chest. 1982 Nov;82(5):526-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.82.5.526.


We characterized T-lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of smokers (N = 60) and nonsmokers (N = 35). Total T-lymphocytes and T cell subsets were similar to nonsmokers in light and moderate smokers. In heavy smokers, total OKT3+ cells were increased, the percentage of OKT4+ cells was decreased, and percentage and total number of OKT8+ cells were increased. The ratio of OKT4+ to OKT8+ lymphocytes was decreased in heavy smokers. The percentage of OKT8+ cells and the OKT4+/OKT8+ ratio returned to normal in heavy smokers six weeks after they stopped smoking. These findings suggest that cigarette smoking causes reversible alterations in immunoregulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal