Association of methotrexate treatment with a decrease of double negative (CD4-CD8-) and γ/δ T cell levels in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

M. Massa, F. De Benedetti, P. Robbioni, B. Ramenghi, S. Albani, A. Martini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. It has been suggested that double negative (CD4-CD8-) (DN) and γ/δ T cells may be involved in some autoimmune diseases. We investigated peripheral blood DN and γ/δ T cell levels in patients with active juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Methods. DN and γ/δ T cell levels were measured in 42 patients with active JRA and in 10 healthy controls comparable for age by an immunofluorescence double staining procedure. Results. All 3 JRA onset types had DN and γ/δ T cell levels not significantly different from those of controls, although a wide scattering of data was present. No correlation was found between DN or γ/δ T cell levels and erythrocyte sedimentation rate values or the number of active joints. When patients were divided according to treatment, we found that DN and γ/δ T cell levels were significantly lower (p = 0.001, p = 0.02, respectively) in patients receiving methotrexate (MTX) than in patients not receiving MTX. The association of MTX treatment with a decrease in DN and γ/δ T cell levels was also confirmed in a followup study of individual patients. Among patients not receiving MTX, patients with systemic JRA presented DN T cell levels significantly higher than those of controls. In 5 patients with pauciarticular JRA DN and γ/δ T cell levels were higher in synovial fluid than in the peripheral blood. Conclusions. We found an increase in peripheral blood DN T cell levels in systemic JRA; treatment with MTX appears to be associated with a decrease in DN and γ/δ T cell levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1944-1948
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume20
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Keywords

  • γ/δ T CELL RECEPTOR
  • DOUBLE NEGATIVE T CELLS
  • JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
  • METHOTREXATE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology

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