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J Dermatol Sci. 2010 Oct;60(1):8-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Induced Sézary syndrome PBMCs poorly express immune response genes up-regulated in stimulated memory T cells.

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Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.



Dysfunctions in memory T cells contribute to various inflammatory autoimmune diseases and neoplasms. We hypothesize that investigating the differences of genetic profiles between resting and activated naïve and memory T cells may provide insight into the characterization of abnormal memory T cells in diseases, such as Sézary syndrome (SS), a neoplasm composed of CD4(+) CD45RO(+) cells.


We determined genes distinctively expressed between resting and activated naive and memory cells. Levels of up-regulated genes in resting and activated memory cells were measured in SS PBMCs, which were largely comprised of CD4(+) CD45RO(+) cells, to quantitatively assess how different Sézary cells were from memory cells.


We compared gene expression profiles using high-density oligo-microarrays between resting and activated naïve and memory CD4(+) T cells. Differentially expressed genes were confirmed by qRT-PCR and immunoblotting. Levels of genes up-regulated in activated and resting memory T cells were determined in SS PBMCs by qRT-PCR.


Activated memory cells expressed greater numbers of immune-mediated genes involved in effector function compared to naïve cells in our microarray analysis and qRT-PCR. Nine out of 14 genes with enhanced levels in activated memory cells had reduced levels in SS PBMCs (p<0.05).


Activation of memory and naïve CD4(+) T cells revealed a diverging gap in gene expression between these subsets, with memory cells expressing immune-related genes important for effector function. Many of these genes were markedly depressed in SS patients, implying Sézary cells are markedly impaired in mounting immune responses compared to memory cells.

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