Lymphocyte subpopulations analysis in peripheral blood in polymyalgia rheumatica/glant cell arteritis

P. Macchioni, L. Boiardi, C. Salvarani, F. Ross, M. Casadei-maldini, R. Mancini, E. Beltrandi, I. Portioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phenotypic characteristics of peripheral blood lymphocytes were investigated in 22 patients suffering from active polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis (PMR/GCA) prior to steroid treatment. We observed a significant reduction in the absolute number and the relative percentage of CD4+, CD8+ and CD3+, CD16+ and/or CD56+ cells compared to controls. Fifteen patients were investigated prospectively over a 6-month period of prednisone therapy. At the end of the study CD4-CD8+ cells had increased significantly compared to baselines, CD3+CD16+ and/or CD56+ cells remained significantly lower when compared to controls. We did not observe any abnormalities in the absolute number and percentage of HLA-DR+ T lymphocytes, CD5+ B cells and NK cell phenotypes before or during steroid treatment. Our study confirms that there was significant increase in the absolute number of CD8+T cells during steroid treatment in the PMR/GCA patients, but indicates the persistence of an immunological alteration despite the control of disease manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-670
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993


  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Lymphocyte subpopulations
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Steroid therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Rheumatology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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