Interleukin 21 Correlates with T Cell and B Cell Subset Alterations in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
The Journal of Rheumatology, 08/10/2012
Terrier B et al. – The findings suggest that Interleukin 21 (IL–21), produced by distinct cellular CD4+ T cells, correlates with alterations of T cell and B cell subsets in systemic lupus erythematosus, and that targeting IL–21 could provide beneficial effects on both T cell and B cell alterations.Methods
- Twenty-five patients with SLE and 25 healthy donor controls were included.
- Analysis of CD4+ T cells producing IL-21, Th1, Th2, Th17, Treg, follicular helper T (TFH) cells, and B cells was performed in peripheral blood, and levels of cytokines were measured in culture supernatants.
- Circulating CD4+ T cells producing IL-21 were markedly expanded in patients with SLE compared to controls and were correlated with increased Th17, decreased Treg, and increased memory B cells.
- CD4+ T cells producing IL-21 were composed of CXCR5+ and CXCR5–CD4+ T cell subsets.
- Both IL-21-producing CXCR5+CD4+ T cells and CXCR5–CD4+ T cells were increased in patients with SLE, the CXCR5–CD4+ subset correlating with Th17 cells and Treg, while the CXCR5+CD4+ subset was correlated with alterations of the B cell subset.
- The CXCR5+CD4+ subset comprised mainly circulating Bcl6+CXCR5+CD4+ TFH cells that were markedly expanded in patients with SLE and were correlated with increased circulating Bcl6+CXCR5+ germinal center B cells.