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Trends in TRECs values according to age and gender in Chinese children, and their clinical application
  • Qin Zhao,
  • Xiao-Dong Zhao
Qin Zhao
Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Xiao-Dong Zhao
Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University
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T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) are small circularized DNA elements produced during rearrangement of T cell receptor (TCR) genes. Because TRECS are fairly stable, do not replicate during mitosis, and are not diluted during division of naïve T cells1, they are suitable for assessing the number of newly formed T cells 2. In this study, we detected TRECs in 475 healthy Chinese children aged 0–18 years in different clinical settings. We found a strong correlation between TRECs levels and peripheral CD4 naïve T cell numbers, but not between TRECs levels and effector or memory CD4 and CD8 T cell numbers. TRECs levels fell significantly compared with normal controls in patients with severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID) (n=7), wiskott-aldrich syndrome (WAS) (n=22), or activated PI3Kδ syndrome (APDS) (n=5). TRECs levels in those with signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) deficiency (n=8) decreased or did not change significantly, a finding consistent with that for CD4 naïve T cells. We also measured TRECs levels in seven PIDs after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) (WAS=5; chronic granulomatous disease (CGD)=2), and found the complications after HSCT may reduce TRECs levels by interfering with production of naïve T cells. In conclusion, we established reference values for TRECs, which can be used to screen for primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) during early life and track immune reconstitution after HSCT.
Feb 2022Published in European Journal of Pediatrics volume 181 issue 2 on pages 529-538. 10.1007/s00431-021-04223-8