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Arthritis Res Ther. 2011;13(6):R208. doi: 10.1186/ar3541. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Frequency of Th17 CD20+ cells in the peripheral blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients is higher compared to healthy subjects.

Author information

1
Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK. paul.eggleton@pms.ac.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered a T cell driven autoimmune disease, therefore, the ability of B cell depleting biologics, e.g., anti-CD20 antibodies, to alleviate RA is unclear. This study examined the proportions of IL-17-secreting lymphocytes in the blood of healthy subjects and RA patients and determined if Th17 cells belong to a CD20+ subset of T cells.

METHODS:

Fluorescence-activated cell sorting and confocal microscopy verified CD3, CD4/CD8 and CD20-staining of T cells. IL-17 secretion was determined using a commercial assay.

RESULTS:

In healthy subjects and RA patients blood, the median percentage of total CD20+ lymphocytes was similar (7.5%; n = 6 and 10.3%; n = 9, respectively) and comprised predominantly of B cells (~ 86%). However, 2-4% of CD3+ T cells from both healthy subjects (n = 7) and RA (n = 8) individuals co-expressed CD20. The peripheral blood of healthy subjects contained few IL-17-secreting CD20+ T cells (< 0.1%; n = 6). In contrast, in RA blood a median and interquartile range % of, 24.2%; IQR 28.5 of IL-17-secreting T cells were CD20+ (n = 9; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

In the blood of RA patients, a greater proportion of Th17 cells are of a CD20+ phenotype compared to healthy individuals. These cells may represent an additional target for anti-CD20 therapies.

PMID:
22171710
PMCID:
PMC3334661
DOI:
10.1186/ar3541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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