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Reumatol Clin. 2017 Nov - Dec;13(6):338-343. doi: 10.1016/j.reuma.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

Follicular helper T cells in peripheral blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

[Article in English, Spanish]

Author information

1
Laboratorio de Inmunología y Virología, Hospital Nacional de Clínicas, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.
2
Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Nacional de Clínicas, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.
3
Laboratorio de Inmunología y Virología, Hospital Nacional de Clínicas, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina. Electronic address: ferreropaola@hotmail.com.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized by the presence of different autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies. CD4T cells expressing CXCR5, referred as follicular helper T cells (Tfh), collaborate with B cells to produce antibodies. Differential expression of CXCR3 and CCR6 within CD4+CXCR5+ T cells defines three mayor subsets: CXCR3+CCR6- (Tfh1), CXCR3-CCR6- (Tfh2) and CXCR3-CCR6+ (Tfh17). The aim of the study was to assess whether there is an association between the percentage of these cells and RA and whether there is a correlation with disease activity.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Twenty-four RA patients, 22 healthy controls (HC) and 16 undifferentiated arthritis (UA) patients were included. Percentage of CD4+CXCR5+ T cells and their subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS:

No differences were found in the percentages of CD4+CXCR5+ T cells in the comparison of RA vs HC or RA vs UA patients. Tfh1, Tfh2 and Tfh17 subsets showed no differences either. There was no correlation between CD4+CXCR5+T cells, Tfh1, Tfh2 and Tfh17, and Disease Activity Score in twenty-eight joints (DAS28) or erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Surprisingly, there was a positive correlation between Tfh17 cells and C-reactive protein. Finally, there was no correlation between CD4+CXCR5+ T cells, or their subsets, and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin, or between the cells and RF.

CONCLUSION:

There were no differences between the percentages of CD4+CXCR5+ T cells and their subsets in peripheral blood of RA patients and the percentages of cells in the control groups. This finding does not rule out a pathogenic role of these cells in the development and activity of RA.

KEYWORDS:

Artritis reumatoide; Células T helper foliculares; Follicular helper T cells; Immunopathogenesis; Inmunopatogénesis; Rheumatoid arthritis

PMID:
27595364
DOI:
10.1016/j.reuma.2016.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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