T suppressor cell function and phenotype are abnormal in patients with multiple sclerosis, especially during the chronic progressive phase but the sub-populations defined by mitogen stimulation and serological methods may not be identical. In this study, involving 45 patients with multiple sclerosis and 33 controls, there was no correlation between T suppressor function and CD8 cell phenotype in patients with multiple sclerosis or in controls. These phenotypic and functional studies cannot therefore be used interchangeably in the assessment of patients with multiple sclerosis since they provide different information about lymphocyte subpopulations.
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