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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (2): 143-147.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110205

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Correlation between T lymphocyte subsets and different syndrome types in patients with influenza A (H1N1): A retrospective study

Yu Huang1, Xing Zeng1, Wei Zhu2, Sha-sha Li1, Dan Zhou1, Chuan-jian Lu3()   

  1. 1. Central Laboratory, Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong Province, China
    2. Laboratory of Chinese Drugs Pharmaceutics, Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong Province, China
    3. Department of Dermatology, Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong Province, China
  • Received:2010-09-17 Accepted:2010-11-02 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-15
  • Contact: Lu Chuan-jian

Objective: To investigate the changes in T lymphocyte subsets in patients with different syndrome types infected by influenza A (H1N1) virus after treatment.
Methods: In this retrospective study, 111 patients with H1N1 influenza were enrolled and divided into three groups according to their syndromes: exterior heat syndrome group (55 cases), exterior cold syndrome group (20 cases) and heat toxin invading lung (HTIL) syndrome group (36 cases). Patients were treated with Western medicine (acetaminophen or ibuprofen suspension), traditional Chinese medicine (herbal medicine according to their syndromes), or a combination of Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine with patient’s intentions. Another 20 healthy people were selected as normal control. Phenotypic features of T lymphocyte subsets in peripheral vein blood of patients before and after treatment were determined by flow cytometry.
Results: Before treatment, the numbers of CD3- and CD4-postive T lymphocytes were lower in H1N1 patients with the three types of syndromes than in the normal controls (P<0.01), and the numbers of CD8-positive T lymphocytes were lower in exterior heat syndrome and HTIL syndrome groups than in normal control group (P<0.01). The ratio of CD4-positive to CD8-positive T lymphocytes in exterior cold syndrome group showed no difference as compared with the normal control group, and the ratios of CD4-positive to CD8-positive T lymphocytes in exterior heat syndrome and HTIL syndrome groups were higher than that in the normal control group (P<0.01). After treatment, the numbers of CD4-positive T lymphocytes increased in all the three types of syndromes in patients with H1N1, and showed no difference compared with the normal control group. The numbers of CD3-positive T lymphocytes in patients with exterior heat syndrome and exterior cold syndrome increased, and showed no difference compared with the normal control group. The number of CD3-positive T lymphocytes in H1N1 patients with HTIL syndrome was lower than that in the normal control group (P<0.05), whereas the numbers of CD8-positive T lymphocytes in patients with exterior heat syndrome and HTIL syndrome were lower than that in the normal control group (P<0.05). The ratio of CD4-positive to CD8-positive T lymphocytes in patients with HTIL syndrome was decreased, and displayed no difference as compared with the normal control group. The ratio of CD4-positive to CD8-positive T lymphocytes in patients with exterior heat syndrome was higher than that in the normal control group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Analysis of T lymphocyte subsets may provide experimental data to support for syndrome differentiation in traditional Chinese medicine and a sound method to establish syndrome differentiation typing for H1N1.

Key words: influenza A virus, H1N1 subtype, T lymphocyte subsets, syndrome, clinical trials, retrospective study

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