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Clin Immunol. 2016 Dec;173:161-170. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2016.10.017. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

The expression of Bcl-6 in circulating follicular helper-like T cells positively correlates with the disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenomics, Changsha, Hunan, China.
2
Department of Dermatology, General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command of PLA, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
3
Department of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
4
Department of Nephrology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
5
Changsha Blood Center, Changsha, Hunan, China.
6
Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
7
Department of Dermatology, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenomics, Changsha, Hunan, China. Electronic address: qianlu5860@gmail.com.

Abstract

Increased circulating follicular helper-like T cells (cTfh) are reported in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. However, whether B-cell lymphoma 6 (Bcl-6) is expressed in cTfh cells remains to be clarified. In this study, we found that the frequencies of CD4+CXCR5hiPD-1hicTfh, CD4+CXCR5hiPD-1hiICOShi, and CD4+CXCR5hiPD-1hiBcl-6+ populations were significantly increased in SLE patients (n=70) when compared with healthy controls (n=48). Surprisingly, only CD4+CXCR5hiPD-1hiBcl-6+ cTfh cells, rather than CD4+CXCR5hiPD-1hi population, were positively correlated with SLEDAI and anti-dsDNA antibodies. An elevated level of IL-21 was found in SLE CD4+ T cells. Moreover, IL-21 promoted the enrichment of TET2 in Bcl-6 promoter region and induced Bcl-6 expression. Therefore, Bcl-6 expression in cTfh cells may represent a reliable marker for the disease activity in SLE.

KEYWORDS:

Bcl-6; Disease activity; IL-21; SLE; TET2; cTfh

PMID:
27818202
DOI:
10.1016/j.clim.2016.10.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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