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Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 May;66(5):1272-81. doi: 10.1002/art.38376.

Interleukin-17+CD8+ T cells are enriched in the joints of patients with psoriatic arthritis and correlate with disease activity and joint damage progression.

Author information

1
King's College London and Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is associated with HLA class I genes, in contrast to the association with HLA class II in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Since IL-17+ cells are considered important mediators of synovial inflammation, we sought to determine whether IL-17-producing CD8+ T cells may be found in the joints of patients with PsA and whether these cells might contribute to the disease process.

METHODS:

Mononuclear cells from paired samples of synovial fluid (SF) and peripheral blood (PB) from patients with PsA or patients with RA were stimulated ex vivo, and CD4- T cells were examined by flow cytometry for cytokine expression, cytotoxic markers, and frequencies of γ/δ or mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Clinical measures of arthritis activity (C-reactive protein [CRP] level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR], Disease Activity Score in 28 joints [DAS28]) and power Doppler ultrasound (PDUS) scores for the presence of active synovitis in the aspirated knee were recorded and assessed for correlations with immunologic markers.

RESULTS:

Within the CD3+ T cell compartment, both IL-17+CD4- (predominantly CD8+) and IL-17+CD4+ T cells were significantly enhanced in the SF compared to the PB of patients with PsA (P = 0.0003 and P = 0.002, respectively; n = 21), whereas in patients with RA, only IL-17+CD4+ T cells were increased in the SF compared to the PB (P = 0.008; n = 14). The frequency of IL-17+CD4- T cells in PsA SF was positively correlated with the CRP level (r = 0.52, P = 0.01), ESR (r = 0.59, P = 0.004), and DAS28 (r = 0.52, P = 0.01), and was increased in patients with erosive disease (P < 0.05). In addition, the frequency of IL-17+CD4- T cells positively correlated with the PDUS score, a marker for active synovitis (r = 0.49, P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION:

These results show, for the first time, that the PsA joint, but not the RA joint, is enriched for IL-17+CD8+ T cells. Moreover, the findings reveal that the levels of this T cell subset are correlated with disease activity measures and the radiographic erosion status after 2 years, suggesting a previously unrecognized contribution of these cells to the pathogenesis of PsA.

PMID:
24470327
PMCID:
PMC4158887
DOI:
10.1002/art.38376
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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