Reduced frequency of CD4(+)CD25(HIGH)FOXP3(+) cells and diminished FOXP3 expression in patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency: a link to autoimmunity?

Clin Immunol. 2009 Aug;132(2):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2009.03.519. Epub 2009 Apr 25.


Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunodeficiency disease characterized by defective immunoglobulin production and often associated with autoimmunity. We used flow cytometry to analyze CD4(+)CD25(HIGH)FOXP3(+) T regulatory (Treg) cells and ask whether perturbations in their frequency in peripheral blood could underlie the high incidence of autoimmune disorders in CVID patients. In this study, we report for the first time that CVID patients with autoimmune disease have a significantly reduced frequency of CD4(+)CD25(HIGH)FOXP3(+) cells in their peripheral blood accompanied by a decreased intensity of FOXP3 expression. Notably, although CVID patients in whom autoimmunity was not diagnosed had a reduced frequency of CD4(+)CD25(HIGH)FOXP3(+) cells, FOXP3 expression levels did not differ from those in healthy controls. In conclusion, these data suggest compromised homeostasis of CD4(+)CD25(HIGH)FOXP3(+) cells in a subset of CVID patients with autoimmunity, and may implicate Treg cells in pathological mechanisms of CVID.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / blood
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / genetics
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / immunology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit