Epidermal CD8+ T cells in chronic plaque psoriasis are Tc1 cells producing heterogeneous levels of interferon-gamma

Exp Dermatol. 2001 Jun;10(3):168-74. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0625.2001.010003168.x.


The majority of epidermal CD8+ T cells in chronic plaque psoriasis are activated Tc1 cells producing interferon-gamma and no interleukin-4, a small proportion of which express NK-T receptors. To quantitate their level of cytokine production and characterize them further, CD8+ T cells were isolated from epidermal cell suspensions of lesional biopsies from 24 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. T-cell lines (TCL) were established by culture of CD8+ T cells with feeders and IL-2 for 11 days and expansion with PHA. Ten TCL were stained for surface markers; 6 were cloned with PHA by limiting dilution. Interferon-gamma, interleukin-4 and interleukin-10 production was measured by ELISA after PMA/anti-CD3 activation of 15 TCL and 39 CD8+ T-cell clones. The 10 TCL stained were CD8alphabeta+ (93.3%), T-cell receptor-alphabeta+ (99.5%), costimulatory molecule CD28+ (90.1%), with a small CD8alphaalpha+ population (2.3%). No NK-T-cell receptor CD158a or CD158b expression was detected, whilst CD94 was expressed on 6.2% of cells in 6/9 TCL. All the TCL and 37/39 CD8+ T-cell clones produced interferon-gamma but no or minimal interleukin-4 or interleukin-10. The TCL produced a wide range of interferon-gamma levels (138 to 15,020 pg/ml). Clones from 3 patients showed low levels (60 to 1,410 pg/ml), from 2 patients high levels (6,105 to 43,040 pg/ml) and from 1 patient a wide range (405 to 36,010 pg/ml) of interferon-gamma production. Thus epidermal CD8+ Tc1 cells in chronic plaque psoriasis produce highly heterogeneous levels of interferon-gamma, which may reflect clinical diversity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • CD28 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • CD8 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Line
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / metabolism*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • CD28 Antigens
  • CD3 Complex
  • CD8 Antigens
  • CD8alphabeta antigen
  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Interferon-gamma