International archives of allergy and immunology

Roles of CRTH2+ CD4+ T cells in immunoglobulin G4-related lacrimal gland enlargement.

PMID 22627365


Lacrimal gland enlargement (LGE) is one of the characteristics of Mikulicz's disease (MD). Recently, marked serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G4 elevation and infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells in the enlarged exocrine glands have been reported in MD patients. Moreover, we have reported that in patients with LGE and elevated serum IgG4 levels (IgG4-related LGE), T helper type 2 (Th2) cell-mediated immune responses are enhanced. Although prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and its receptor CRTH2 (chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells) have been shown to be involved in Th2 cell-related diseases such as bronchial asthma, their roles in IgG4-related diseases remain unknown. The aim of this study is to address the role of CD4+ T cells expressing CRTH2 (CRTH2+ CD4+ T cells) in IgG4-related LGE. We examined the expression of CCR4, CXCR3 and CRTH2 on peripheral blood CD4+ T cells in patients with IgG4-related LGE, in patients with bronchial asthma and in healthy controls. The ratio of CCR4+ to CXCR3+ in CD45RO+ CD4+ T cells was increased in patients with IgG4-related LGE when compared to that in healthy controls, confirming that Th2 cells are predominant in patients with IgG4-related LGE. In addition, the frequency of CRTH2+ cells in CD4+ T cells was significantly increased in these patients, compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, although not statistically significant, the frequency of CRTH2+ cells in CD4+ T cells tended to correlate with the levels of serum IgE and the number of blood eosinophils in patients with IgG4-related LGE. CRTH2+ CD4+ T cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of IgG4-related LGE.