Background: Recent studies have disclosed the involvement of T cells in narcolepsy type 1 pathogenesis. We characterized the T cell subsets distribution in a recent-onset child at two different time points, two months from disease onset (T0) and 10 months later (follow-up), respectively. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lymphocytes were characterized by flow cytometry at both evaluations. The distribution of T cell subsets was compared between the two time points, and the fold change was calculated as the CSF/PBMC frequencies ratio. Results: The patient showed a 2-fold increase in the frequency of CD4+ EMRA T cells, and an increase of more than one and a half in the frequency of CD4+ CM T cells in CSF at follow-up compared to T0. Moreover, the distribution of CD4+ EM T cells was slightly increased at T0 compared to follow-up. In PBMCs, the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets showed a slight decrease in CM cells at the follow-up. Finally, the CSF/PBMC fold-change ratio showed a 3-fold increase of CD4+ and CD8+ CM T cells at the follow-up, a rise up to 1.5-fold of CD4+ EMRA subsets and a slight decrease in CD4+ EM T cells. Conclusions: Our data suggest that variations in the frequency of EM vs. CM of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets in the CSF and in the CSF/PBMC fold change may represent a biological marker of disease progression.
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