Pregnancy induces numerical and functional changes of CD4+CD25high regulatory T cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis


Förger, F., Marcoli, N., Gadola, S., Möller, B., Villiger, P.M. and Østensen, M. (2007) Pregnancy induces numerical and functional changes of CD4+CD25high regulatory T cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 67, (7), 984-990. (doi:10.1136/ard.2007.075283).

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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ard.2007.075283

Description/Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In a prospective study we investigated whether numerical and functional changes of CD4+CD25(high) regulatory T cells (Treg) were associated with changes of disease activity observed during pregnancy and post partum in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The frequency of CD4+CD25(high) T cells was determined by flow cytometry in 12 patients with RA and 14 healthy women during and after pregnancy. FACS-sorted CD4+CD25(high) T cells and CD4+CD25- T cells were stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies alone or in co-culture to investigate proliferation and cytokine secretion. RESULTS: Frequencies of CD4+CD25(high) Treg were significantly higher in the third trimester compared to 8 weeks post-partum both in patients and controls. Numbers of CD4+CD25(high) Treg inversely correlated with disease activity in the third trimester and post-partum. In co-culture experiments significantly higher amounts of IL-10 and lowered levels of TNFalpha and IFNgamma were found in supernatants of the third trimester compared to post-partum samples. These findings were independent from health or disease in pregnancy, however post-partum TNFalpha and IFNgamma levels were higher in patients with disease flares. CONCLUSION: The amelioration of disease activity in the third trimester corresponded to the increased number of Treg that induced a pronounced anti-inflammatory cytokine milieu. The pregnancy related quantitative and qualitative changes of Treg suggest a beneficial effect of Treg on disease activity.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0003-4967 (print)
1468-2060 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RB Pathology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Infection, Inflammation and Repair
ePrint ID: 59297
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:41
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/59297

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