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The Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) was administered to 12 patients with major depression and 4 normal controls. Peripheral blood smears were collected before and after the DST, and atypical lymphocytes were counted. Six patients who were nonsuppressors on the DST had a high percentage of so-called stress lymphocytes (Downey type II atypical lymphocytes). Five of six subjects with normal suppressor responses had low stress lymphocyte counts or no such cells (p < 0.01). The findings suggest that the stress lymphocyte response might be related to nonsuppression on the DST in major depression.
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Received in revised form: October 11, 1988
Received: May 27, 1986
☆Supported in part by the Pharmacopsychiatric Research Foundation.
© 1989 Published by Elsevier Inc.