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August 28, 1981

OKT3, OKT4, and All That

Author Affiliations

University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque

JAMA. 1981;246(9):947-948. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320090017018

It's starting again. I had gone for 14 months without seeing an article reporting on T and B levels in one disease or another. The T- and B-cell measures—having run through the sick, the elderly, the young, the pregnant, the bereaved—had finally run out of diseases. Each condition was the subject of many reports; so that now, to give but one example, we can conclude with some assurance that T-cell numbers are up,1 down,2-4 or unchanged5-8 in old folks.

And now it's starting all over again, this time with T-cell subsets. Think, dear reader, and grieve, dear editor, about how many investigators are at this very moment measuring T-cell subsets in systemic lupus erythematosus, in rheumatoid arthritis, in solid tumors (all different sorts—one article for each), in lymphomas, in pneumonia, after surgery, after burns, after trauma, in asthma, in cirrhosis, in Crohn's disease, in glomerulonephritis, in myositis,