Distribution and functional plasticity of peripheral blood Th(c)17 and Th(c)1 in rheumatoid arthritis

Ana Henriques, Vera Gomes, Cátia Duarte, Susana Pedreiro, Tiago Carvalheiro, Marlene Areias, Armando Caseiro, António José Gabriel, Paula Laranjeira, Maria Luísa Pais, José António Pereira da Silva, Artur Paiva

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

16 Citaten (Scopus)


UNLABELLED: With the discovery of Th17 cells, it became unclear whether rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a Th1-mediated and/or a Th17-mediated disease.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the pro-inflammatory function of IL-17-producing T cell subsets (Th(c)17) in RA. Flow cytometry analysis was performed on peripheral blood from RA patients with inactive or low disease activity (LDA, n = 19) and moderate to high disease activity (HDA, n = 13) to analyze the number and functional activity of Th(c)17 and Th(c)1 cell subsets according to the frequency of IL-2-, TNF-α- and IFN-γ-producers cells, as well as, their cytokine amount. Additionally, 13 age-matched healthy volunteers were added to the study. Our data point to a slight increase in Tc17 frequency in RA patients, more evident in HDA, and a higher ability of Th17 to produce IL-17, whereas a lower production of TNF-α was noted either in Th17 or Tc17 cells, particularly from HDA. A similar decrease was observed in Th(c)1 for almost all studied pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the exception of IL-2, which was increased in Tc1 from LDA patients. Analysing the proportion of pro-inflammatory cytokines-producing cells, a polarization to a Tc1 phenotype seemed to occur in CD8 T cells, while CD4 T cells appear to be decreased in their frequency of IFN-γ-producing cells. Taken together, the functional plasticity features of Th17 and Tc17 cells suggest a particular contribution to the local cytokine production, pointing an underestimated role, namely of Tc1 and Tc17 cells, in the RA pathophysiology.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)2093-9
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftRheumatology international
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusGepubliceerd - aug. 2013
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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