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Expression of CD57 on CD8+ T lymphocytes of patients with Wegener`s granulomatosis and microscopic polyangiitis: evidence for continuous activation of CD8+ cells

C. Iking-Konert, T. Vogl, B. Prior, E. Bleck, B. Ostendorf, K. Andrassy, M. Schneider, G.M. Hänsch


2009 Vol.27, N°1 ,Suppl.52
PI 0019, PF 0024
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PMID: 19646341 [PubMed]


To gain insight into the immune pathogenesis of Wegener`s granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), the prevalence of circulating CD8<sup>+</sup> T lymphocytes expressing CD57 as a marker for previous activation was analyzed.
Receptor expression of CD57 was measured in CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells of patients with active disease (n=5) by cytofluorometry and compared with expression in patients in remission (n=80) and in age-matched healthy donors (n=34). The results were compared to clinical parameters including severity and duration of the disease.
CD8<sup>+</sup>CD57<sup>+</sup> were detected in patients with WG and MPA and in healthy donors as well and increased considerably with age. Compared to age-matched healthy donors, the prevalence of CD8<sup>+</sup>CD57<sup>+</sup> was increased in the younger patients (up to 40 y). In most patients a high percentage of CD8<sup>+</sup>CD57<sup>+</sup> coincided with severe disease and multiple organ involvement, while low CD8<sup>+</sup>CD57<sup>+</sup> percentage was seen in patients with limited disease or in patients in complete remission. In patients with smoldering disease, the percentage of CD8<sup>+</sup>CD57<sup>+</sup> increased with time. High numbers of CD8+CD57+ correlated with low CD4:CD8 ratio.
In patients with WG and MPA a population of CD8<sup>+</sup>/ CD57<sup>+</sup> expand, identifying terminally differentiated CD8<sup>+</sup> cells. The prevalence of CD57<sup>+</sup> cells was related to the course of disease. So far, the function of CD57 on CD8<sup>+</sup> cells is not understood. However, these cells might produce certain cytokines, which play a role in the pathogenesis of AAV. The data support the hypothesis that CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells are activated in the context of primary vasculitides.

Rheumatology Article