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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Jul;120(1):184-91. Epub 2007 Apr 9.

CD57 expression correlates with alveolitis severity in subjects with beryllium-induced disease.

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Department of Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA.



Despite numerous studies in human beings linking surface phenotype of blood T cells with their functional characteristics, little is known about this relationship on antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells residing in a target organ.


The aims of this study were to determine the relationship between CD57 expression, a marker of T-cell senescence, and severity of chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and to determine the phenotypic and functional characteristics that differentiate beryllium-specific CD4(+) T cells in lung and blood.


CD57 expression on beryllium-responsive IFN-gamma-expressing and IL-2-expressing CD4(+) T cells in blood and lung of 17 beryllium-sensitized and 20 CBD subjects was determined.


CD57 expression was significantly higher on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) than blood CD4(+) T cells in both beryllium-sensitized and CBD subjects. Expression of CD57 on BAL CD4(+) T cells was directly correlated with the lymphocytic alveolitis. In blood and BAL, higher CD57 expression was seen on more differentiated CD4(+) memory T-cell subsets. Although CD57 expression on blood and BAL cells was associated with a reduced proliferative potential, examination of beryllium-specific CD4(+) T cells in blood and lung revealed no difference in CD57 expression on cells that produced IFN-gamma only versus IFN-gamma and IL-2.


These data suggest that CD57 expression on CD4(+) T cells is an important phenotypic marker to assess lung inflammation and the functional competence of the CD4(+) T-cell compartment in CBD.


These findings suggest that CD57 is a marker of lung inflammation and potentially, disease severity.

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