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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006 Oct;45(10):1210-7. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Early rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a deficit in the CD4+CD25high regulatory T cell population in peripheral blood.

Author information

1
Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal Disease, IMMECR, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to test the hypothesis that there is a deficit in the CD4+CD25high regulatory T-cell population in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), either in size or functional activity.

METHODS:

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were examined from subjects with early active RA who had received no previous disease-modifying therapy (n = 43), from individuals with self-limiting reactive arthritis (n = 14), from subjects with stable, well-controlled RA (n = 82) and from healthy controls (n = 72). The frequencies of CD4+CD25high T-cells were quantified using flow cytometry, and function was assessed by the ability to suppress proliferation of CD4+CD25- T-cells. Paired blood and synovial fluid was analysed from a small number of RA and reactive arthritis patients.

RESULTS:

There was a smaller proportion of CD4+CD25high T-cells in the peripheral blood of early active RA patients (mean 4.25%) than in patients with reactive arthritis or in controls (mean 5.90 and 5.30%, respectively, P = 0.001 in each case). Frequencies in stable, well-controlled RA (mean 4.63%) were not significantly different from early active RA or controls. There were no differences in suppressor function between groups. Higher frequencies of CD4+CD25high T-cells were found in synovial fluid than blood in both RA and reactive arthritis.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate a smaller CD4+CD25high regulatory T-cell population in peripheral blood of individuals with early active RA prior to disease-modifying treatment. This may be a contributory factor in the susceptibility to RA and suggests novel approaches to therapy.

PMID:
16571607
DOI:
10.1093/rheumatology/kel089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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