Increased Tim-3 expression on peripheral lymphocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis negatively correlates with disease activity

Clin Immunol. 2010 Nov;137(2):288-95. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.07.012.


Tim-3 has been reported as an important regulatory molecule and plays a pivotal role in several autoimmunity diseases. Here, we demonstrated the increased expression of Tim-3 on peripheral CD4(+) T, CD8(+) T, NKT cells and monocytes from RA patients compared to those from healthy controls. Percentage of Tim-3(+) cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) showed an inverse correlation with disease activity score 28 (DAS28) and plasma TNF-α level. Similar negative correlations were found between disease activity and Tim-3 levels on CD4(+) T, CD8(+) T and NKT cells. Consistently, Tim-3 expression on CD3(+) T cells was further increased in patients with disease remission after treatment. Tim-3 expression on CD8(+) T and NKT cells negatively correlates with plasma TNF-α. Our results suggest that Tim-3 might participate in the proceeding of RA by its negative regulation on various T cell subsets. Tim-3 might be a potential new marker for assessing severity of RA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Up-Regulation*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Biomarkers
  • HAVCR2 protein, human
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • tocilizumab
  • Methotrexate