Influence of race, age and sex on the lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of healthy Malaysian adults

Ann Clin Biochem. 1995 Nov;32 ( Pt 6):532-9. doi: 10.1177/000456329503200603.


The lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of healthy Malaysian adults (212 subjects, age 18-71 years) were analysed using a flow cytometer FACScan in an effort to establish a reference range for the lymphocyte subsets. The lymphocyte subsets studied were T cells (CD3), B cells (CD19), natural killer (NK) cells (CD3- CD16+/CD56+), helper/inducer cells (CD4), cytotoxic/suppressor cells (CD8) and the helper/suppressor ratio (CD4/CD8). The distributions of T cells, CD4 cells and CD8 cells were symmetric about their means while B cells, NK cells and CD4/CD8 ratio followed a skewed distribution. Differences in race were observed for T cells, NK cells, CD4 cells and CD4/CD8 ratio where the Indians were significantly different from the Malays and the Chinese (higher T cells, CD4 cells and CD4/CD8 ratio and lower NK cells). The B cells were significantly lower in the Chinese than the Malays and the Indians. Age differences were seen only in the Chinese where increased CD4 cells and CD4/CD8 ratio, and decreased CD8 cells were observed. A sex difference was observed only in the Chinese where the CD4/CD8 ratio was significantly higher in females than males.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Subsets*
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors


  • Antigens, CD