Analysis of T-cell clones in systemic lupus erythematosus

Marcella Converso, Maria Tiziana Bertero, Antonella Vallario, Federico Caligaris-Cappio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives. It is fairly well established that T-helper (TH)1 cells play a role in the pathogenesis of organ-specific autoimmune diseases, while their role and their relationship with TH2 cells is far from being defined in systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE). To address this issue, six female patients who fulfilled the American Rheumatism Association criteria for the diagnosis of SLE were studied. Design and Methods. We analyzed the intracellular production of cytokines by T-cells from the peripheral blood (PB). Then, we established T-cell clones (TCC) from the peripheral blood (PB) of all cases as well as from the synovial fluid of one patient with an articular flare-up. Results. The percentage of IL-4 positive and IFN-γ positive PB T-cells were not different between SLE patients and normal controls. When 93 TCC (67 CD4+; 23 CD8+) from the PB of 5 different SLE patients were compared to 118 TCC (94 CD4+ 23 CD8+) from 5 healthy controls no statistical difference was observed between SLE and controls in terms of TH1, TH2 or TH0 phenotype. However, SLE clones showed a reduced ability to secrete IL-10 (P = 0.002). In contrast, the analysis of the 30 clones obtained from synovial fluid revealed that 11/23 CD+ clones were TH1, 12/23 were TH0 2/7 CD8+ clones were TH1 and 5/7 were TH0. No TH2 clones were obtained from the synovial fluid. Interpretation and Conclusions. The data suggest that the T-cell subsets operating in actively inflamed organs of SLE may belong to the TH1 and TH0 subsets. (C) 2000, Ferrata Storti Foundation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cytokines
  • IL-10
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • T helper (TH) lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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