• Alteration of T-cell subset relationships may cause many of the anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory effects of glucocorticosteroids. The effect of oral administration of lactose or 60 mg of prednisone on peripheral blood T-lymphocyte subset profile and total eosinophil count (TEC) was examined. A purified T-cell peripheral blood population was obtained and the proportion of T cells with T3, T4, T8, M1, and la surface antigens was determined before and five hours after ingestion of lactose or prednisone. Lactose caused no change of any of the measured values. Prednisone caused a large (72%) decrease of the total lymphocyte number and the TEC (97%) but no change of the proportion of T cells with the previously mentioned antigens. Administration of 60 mg of prednisone does not acutely selectively deplete subclasses of T lymphocytes from peripheral blood.
(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:973-975)