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October 1978

Depression of Cell-Mediated Immunity in Diabetes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Denver General Hospital, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver. Dr Norton is presently at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(10):1180-1183. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370220066011

• Parameters of cell-mediated and humoral-mediated immunity were measured in ten infection-free, insulin-dependent, controlled diabetic patients and in ten similar but nondiabetic patients awaiting elective operations. Tests performed included total and differential leukocyte counts, neutrophil reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium, mitogen response of lymphocytes to phytohemagglutinin, ratio of thymus-derived to bone marrow-derived lymphocytes, serum immunoglobulins IgA, IgG, and IgM, macrophage inhibition factor, serum zinc, and reaction to skin test antigens. Diabetics had a significantly (P <.05) decreased mean response to phytohemagglutinin stimulation and a lowered ratio of thymus-derived to bone marrow-derived lymphocytes. These findings support the concept of depressed cell-mediated immunity in the controlled, adult diabetic and might explain the propensity of the uncontrolled diabetic to increased frequency and severity of bacterial infection.

(Arch Surg 113:1180-1183, 1978)