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PloS one

CD45RC isoform expression identifies functionally distinct T cell subsets differentially distributed between healthy individuals and AAV patients.


PMID 19381293

Abstract

In animal models of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), the proportion of CD45RC T cell subsets is important for disease susceptibility. Their human counterparts are, however, functionally ill defined. In this report, we studied their distribution in healthy controls (HC), AAV patients and in Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) patients as disease controls. We showed that CD45RC expression level on human CD4 and CD8 T cells identifies subsets that are highly variable among individuals. Interestingly, AAV patients exhibit an increased proportion of CD45RC(low) CD4 T cells as compared to HC and SLE patients. This increase is stable over time and independent of AAV subtype, ANCA specificity, disease duration, or number of relapses. We also analyzed the cytokine profile of purified CD4 and CD8 CD45RC T cell subsets from HC, after stimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAbs. The CD45RC subsets exhibit different cytokine profiles. Type-1 cytokines (IL-2, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha) were produced by all CD45RC T cell subsets, while the production of IL-17, type-2 (IL-4, IL-5) and regulatory (IL-10) cytokines was restricted to the CD45RC(low) subset. In conclusion, we have shown that CD45RC expression divides human T cells in functionally distinct subsets that are imbalanced in AAV. Since this imbalance is stable over time and independent of several disease parameters, we hypothesize that this is a pre-existing immune abnormality involved in the etiology of AAV.