T cells in ANCA-associated vasculitis: what can we learn from lesional versus circulating T cells?

Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(1):204. doi: 10.1186/ar2923. Epub 2010 Feb 24.


Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) - associated vasculitis (AAV) is a life-threatening autoimmune disease characterized by an antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis and necrotizing vasculitis. Apart from antibodies, T cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis. This review stresses the hallmarks of T cell-mediated pathology in AAV and highlights the characteristics of lesional and circulating T cells in the immune response in AAV. Circulating effector T-cell populations are expanded and are in a persistent state of activation. Circulating regulatory T-cell subsets are less well characterized but seem to be impaired in function. Lesional effector T cells are present in granulomas, vasculitic lesions, and nephritis. Lesional T cells usually show pro-inflammatory properties and promote granuloma formation. Apart from T cells, dendritic cells are abundantly present at the sites of inflammation and locally orchestrate the immune response. Targeting the above-mentioned T cell-mediated disease mechanisms will potentially provide powerful therapeutic tools for AAV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / blood*
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / immunology*
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / pathology
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology