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Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Feb 11;13(1):R21. doi: 10.1186/ar3245.

Expression of K2P5.1 potassium channels on CD4+ T lymphocytes correlates with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, Wuerzburg 97080, Germany.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

CD4+ T cells express K(2P)5.1 (TWIK-related acid-sensitive potassium channel 2 (TASK2); KCNK5), a member of the two-pore domain potassium channel family, which has been shown to influence T cell effector functions. Recently, it was shown that K(2P)5.1 is upregulated upon (autoimmune) T cell stimulation. The aim of this study was to correlate expression levels of K(2P)5.1 on T cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to disease activity in these patients.

METHODS:

Expression levels of K(2P)5.1 were measured by RT-PCR in the peripheral blood of 58 patients with RA and correlated with disease activity parameters (C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, disease activity score (DAS28) scores). Twenty patients undergoing therapy change were followed-up for six months. Additionally, synovial fluid and synovial biopsies were investigated for T lymphocytes expressing K(2P)5.1.

RESULTS:

K(2P)5.1 expression levels in CD4+ T cells show a strong correlation to DAS28 scores in RA patients. Similar correlations were found for serological inflammatory parameters (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein). In addition, K(2P)5.1 expression levels of synovial fluid-derived T cells are higher compared to peripheral blood T cells. Prospective data in individual patients show a parallel behaviour of K(2P)5.1 expression to disease activity parameters during a longitudinal follow-up for six months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Disease activity in RA patients correlates strongly with K(2P)5.1 expression levels in CD4+ T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood in cross-sectional as well as in longitudinal observations. Further studies are needed to investigate the exact pathophysiological mechanisms and to evaluate the possible use of K(2P)5.1 as a potential biomarker for disease activity and differential diagnosis.

PMID:
21314928
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3241365
Free PMC Article
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