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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2018 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Angiogenic T cells in primary Sjögren's syndrome: a double-edged sword?

Author information

1
Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
2
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy and Histology, University of Florence, Italy.
3
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy and Histology, University of Florence, Italy. mirko.manetti@unifi.it.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The mechanisms underlying increased cardiovascular risk in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) remain unclear. Since the recently discovered angiogenic T cells (Tang) may participate in endothelial repair by cooperating with endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), we aimed at quantifying and characterising Tang in the peripheral blood and minor salivary glands (MSG) of pSS patients.

METHODS:

Tang (CD3+CD31+CXCR4+) and EPC (CD34+CD133+VEGFR-2+) were quantified by flow cytometry in peripheral blood samples from 36 pSS patients and 20 healthy donors. Tang subsets were assessed on the basis of CD4, CD8 and CD28 expression. Labial MSG sections from 10 pSS patients and 12 non-pSS sicca syndrome controls were subjected to immunofluorescence staining to investigate the presence of Tang and the expression of the CXCR4-ligand stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1)/CXCL12.

RESULTS:

Circulating Tang cells were expanded and directly correlated to EPC in pSS. Both Tang and EPC directly correlated with disease activity as calculated with the EULAR Sjögren's syndrome disease activity index (ESSDAI). In pSS, the majority of Tang cells were CD4-CD8- double negative (DN) and lacked CD28 revealing a senescent phenotype. A subset of CD4+, CD8+ and DN Tang cells produced interleukin-17. Immunohistology revealed the exclusive presence of periductal and perivascular infiltrating Tang cells along with increased SDF-1/CXCL12 expression in pSS MSG compared to non-pSS sicca syndrome controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

In pSS, Tang cells are expanded in peripheral blood and infiltrate MSG. Tang may be novel actors in pSS-related endothelial dysfunction and glandular neo-angiogenesis and inflammation.

PMID:
30336792

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