Seasonal variation and sex differences of circulating macrophages, immunoglobulins and lymphocytes in healthy school children

Scand J Immunol. 1993 Feb;37(2):209-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1993.tb01758.x.


Subpopulations of T and B lymphocytes and levels of serum immunoglobulins G, A, M, E and subclasses G1, G2 and G3 were studied in 45 healthy school children aged 8-16 years during four seasons of the year. There were significant increases in CD4+ T helper cells, total T lymphocytes and CD4+/CD8+ (helper/cytotoxic) T-cell ratio during the spring season. While the levels of CD8+ T cells and total B lymphocytes remained statistically unchanged during all four seasons, the levels of natural (HNK-1) killer cells and macrophages increased significantly during the autumn and summer seasons respectively. The levels of immunoglobulins G, A, M and E remained statistically unchanged during all four seasons. Girls had higher levels of CD4+ T cells and a higher CD4+/CD8+ T-cell ratio than boys. Girls also had slightly higher levels of immunoglobulin G and M. These observations suggest that seasonal variations of some immunological parameters occur in healthy children. This may be an adaptive response to variable climatic and other environmental factors. These natural variations due to seasonal changes should be taken into account when immunological tests are used in clinical investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Male
  • School Health Services*
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Immunoglobulins