Gul Afshan, Nadeem Afzal, Sadia Qureshi
It is generally acknowledged that autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in females all over the world. These diseases are caused by interaction of genetic and environmental factors that result in the failure of immune mechanisms responsible for self-tolerance. Naturally occurring regulatory T cells (Treg) prevent autoimmune diseases; nevertheless, gender is one of the important factors that reacts differently to the immune response and therefore constitutes a distinctive potential target for immunotherapy. The aim of the study was to enumerate Treg in healthy adult males and females, to find the difference in their frequency between the two genders and to correlate with the established value. Treg levels in peripheral blood of 97 young healthy males and females were determined using flowcytometery. Mann Whitney rank sum test was applied to estimate the significance of gender related difference. Significant difference was observed in Treg percentages, p-value < 0.020 showing that there is lower Treg percentage in females than in males (2.89 % ± 1.46 Vs 3.32 % ± 1.39). The modified Treg number could render females more prone to autoimmune diseases. The reference ranges of white blood cells have been well laid out for western countries and the same values are being used in Pakistan. The use of these reference values might be misleading since the expected normal values may vary depending upon the race or the geographical region. The estimated values in the present study may contribute to the correct determination of reference values in south Asia and in close proximity regions.