Dendritic cell subsets and type I interferon system in Behçet’s disease: does functional abnormality in plasmacytoid dendritic cells contribute to Th1 polarization?

S. Pay, I. Simsek, H. Erdem, A. Pekel, U. Musabak, A. Sengul, A. Dinc

Division of Rheumatology, Gulhane Military School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.

2007 Vol.25, N°4 ,Suppl.45 - PI 0034, PF 0040
Full Paper

Rheumatology Article



Several lines of evidence point to a polarized T-helper-1 (Th1) immune response in Behçet’s disease (BD). However, it is not yet clear which factors are involved in the proposed Th1 mediated pathogenesis of BD. Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen presenting cells which play a cruicial role in the polarization of immune res-ponse. No previous study has examined the possible role of DCs in the pathogenesis of BD. We conducted both quantitative and functional analysis of the peripheral blood DC subsets in BD patients with different clinical presentations.
Thirty-eight patients with BD, 12 healthy controls (HC), and 12 patients with undifferentiated spondylarthritis (uSpA) were enrolled in the study. Peripheral blood DC subsets were analysed by flow cytometry and were further characterized for maturation with CCR7. Serum levels of interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-b were measured by ELISA.
BD patients had a decreased percentage of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) compared to HC (p = 0.036). IFN-agr; levels were found to be increased in BD patients as compared to HC and uSPA (p < 0.001, p = 0.005, respectively). BD patients had decreased levels of IFN-Β as compared to HC and uSpA (p = 0.013, p = 0.004, respectively). No difference was found between HC and patients with uSpA regarding IFN-Β levels. Subgroup analysis of BD patients disclosed normalization of percentage of pDCs and the level of IFN-Β in patients receiving IFN-agr;-2b.
We suggest abnormalities in pDCs and type I IFNs appear to be a master switch leading to the pathogenicity in BD by directing immune response towards Th1.

PMID: 17949549 [PubMed]