To assess interactions between T cells and APC in patients with SLE, PBL were stimulated in vitro and IL-2 production measured after stimulation with either a MHC-self-restricted Ag (influenza A virus) or an Ag which can use both MHC-self-restricted or unrestricted T cell activation pathways (HLA- alloantigen). SLE patients (n = 26) and controls (n = 8) were categorized as responder (+) or nonresponder (-) for each stimulus and grouped according to their paired response pattern. All controls responded to both influenza virus (Flu) or alloantigen (Allo) and were categorized as +/+. In contrast, SLE patient response patterns were heterogeneous with no evidence for a single SLE-associated defect. Instead, SLE patient responses fell into one of three different patterns: a) normal responses to both Flu and Allo (+/+), observed in nine (35%) patients; b) defective responses to Flu but intact Allo responses (-/+) observed in 12 (46%) SLE patients; and c) defective responses to both Flu and Allo (-/-), observed in five (19%) SLE patients. There was no statistically significant correlation between immune response pattern and the use of immunosuppressants. Further analysis of -/- SLE patients indicated defects in APC function and in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell function. In contrast, cell depletion and add-back studies in -/+ SLE patients demonstrated defects in APC function only. Thus, similar to the well recognized clinical heterogeneity among SLE patients, our data support the concept that SLE patients are heterogeneous with respect to in vitro T cell- APC function, exhibiting responses ranging from normal function to defects in APC and in both T cell subsets. Prospective studies are in progress to determine the clinical relevance of these observations.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|
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