The magnitude of cytokine production by stimulated CD56+ cells is associated with early stages of systemic sclerosis

Marta Cossu, Lenny van Bon, Stefan Nierkens, Chiara Bellocchi, Alessandro Santaniello, Harry Dolstra, Lorenzo Beretta, Timothy R D J Radstake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immune activation is a hallmark of systemic sclerosis (SSc). However, the immunological alterations that occur in preclinical and non-fibrotic SSc and that differentiate these subjects from those with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP) or healthy controls (HC) are poorly defined. We isolated CD56+ (NK/NKT-like) cells from HC, patients with PRP, early SSc (EaSSc) and definite SSc without skin or lung fibrosis. Cytokine production upon different activating stimuli was measured via a multiplex immuno assay. Clearly discriminative patterns among the different stages of SSc were most markedly observed after TLR1/2 stimulation, with increased IL-6, TNF-α and MIP-1α/CCL3 production in definite SSc patients as compared to HC and/or PRP. Initial alterations were observed in EaSSc patients with an intermediate secretion pattern between HC/PRP and definite SSc. CD56+ cells from patients at different stages of SSc differentially respond to TLR stimulation, highlighting the relevance of natural immunity in the developmental and pre-fibrotic SSc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • CD56 cells
  • Cytokines
  • Early systemic sclerosis
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Toll like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The magnitude of cytokine production by stimulated CD56<sup>+</sup> cells is associated with early stages of systemic sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this