Increased circulating skin-homing cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA)+ type 2 cytokine-producing cells, and decreased CLA+ type 1 cytokine-producing cells in atopic dermatitis

Br J Dermatol. 2000 Aug;143(2):373-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.03665.x.


Background: Skin-homing T cells are characterized by expression of cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA). Few data are available on the frequency of circulating CLA+ cytokine-producing T cells in atopic dermatitis (AD) patients.

Objectives: We aimed to investigate cytokine synthesis capability vs. CLA expression in phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin-stimulated, secretion-inhibited peripheral blood T cells of AD patients compared with healthy subjects and psoriatic patients.

Methods: Multiparameter flow cytometry was used.

Results: The expression of CLA among CD4+ T cells was significantly elevated in AD patients compared with healthy subjects and psoriatic patients, whereas there was no significant difference between each group in CLA expression among CD8+ T cells. The frequency of interleukin (IL)-4- and IL-13-producing cells in AD patients was significantly higher than in healthy subjects (in both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets) and psoriatic patients (in CD4+ T cells). In contrast, the frequency of interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing cells was significantly reduced in AD patients, among both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, compared with healthy subjects and psoriatic patients. Moreover, in AD patients, the frequency of IL-4- and IL-13-producing cells was remarkably increased among the CLA+ subset (in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), whereas the frequency of IFN-gamma-producing cells was decreased in the CLA+ subset (in CD4+, but not in CD8+ T cells).

Conclusions: These results provide evidence for the expansion of skin-homing type 2 cytokine-secreting T cells, associated with a reduction in skin-homing type 1 cytokine-producing T cells, in peripheral blood of AD patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CTAGE1 protein, human
  • Cytokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins