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. 2010;153(2):157-65.
doi: 10.1159/000312633. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

CD8 and CD103 Are Highly Expressed in Asthmatic Bronchial Intraepithelial Lymphocytes

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CD8 and CD103 Are Highly Expressed in Asthmatic Bronchial Intraepithelial Lymphocytes

Susumu Hirosako et al. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. .

Abstract

Background: Although characteristics of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) in mucosal immunity have been well defined in the intestine, bronchial IELs have been little investigated. Recently, we showed that bronchial IELs have a distinct function that partly resembles that of intestinal IELs; however, surface antigen expression of bronchial IELs and the relationship of that expression to airway disease have not been studied.

Methods: We analyzed phenotypic profiles of human bronchial IELs and lamina propria lymphocytes (LPLs) by double-staining immunohistochemistry using full-thickness bronchial specimens (10 nonasthmatic controls and 7 asthmatics) from lung resections.

Results: In controls, the percentage of CD4+ cells was lower, and the percentage of CD8+ cells was higher in IELs compared to LPLs (CD4: median 50.0% in IELs vs. 65.9% in LPLs, p = 0.01; CD8: 50.9% in IELs vs. 34.4% in LPLs, p = 0.007). The percentage of cells positive for CD103 (αE-integrin) was higher in IELs than that in LPLs (median 60.1% in IELs vs. 16.9% in LPLs; p < 0.001). In IELs from asthmatics, these characteristics were particularly significant (CD4: median 26.2%, p = 0.008; CD8: 79.8%, p = 0.007; CD103: 76.2%, p = 0.019; all compared with IELs from nonasthmatics).

Conclusions: These results suggest that human bronchial IELs have roles distinct from subsets of other lymphocytes, and that CD8+ cells and CD103+ cells have potentially important functions in the bronchial epithelium.

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