Introduction: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease involving several organs, including the lungs. Previous results confirmed changes of peripheral T cell subsets in lupus patients; however no data are available about their possible relationship with pulmonary involvement.
Objective: To determine pulmonary manifestations and potential relationship in changes of peripheral CD4+ T cell subsets.
Methods: Patients with SLE (N = 28) were enrolled in complex pulmonary examination. Patients were divided into groups with pleuropulmonary manifestations (SLEpulm N = 13 age: 44.9 ± 3.3 years, female: male = 11:2) or without (SLEc N = 15 age: 27.2 ± 3.7 years, female: male = 12:3). Peripheral blood was taken for T helper (Th)1, Th2, Th17, CD4+CD25hi+ and regulatory T (Treg: CD4+CD25hi+ CD127-) cell analysis from SLE patients and healthy volunteers (controls, N = 40).
Results: SLEpulm patients were older, had more pulmonary symptoms and significantly decreased pO2 as compared to SLEc group. Ventilatory disorder was present in 92% of SLEpulm patients, with significantly decreased lung volumes, signs of airway involvement and decrease in DLco. Significant increase in Th1/Th2, while decrease in Th17/Treg ratios was present in all SLE compared to controls. In SLEpulm CD4+CD25hi+ subset without changes in Treg number was significantly increased as compared to SLEc and this subgroup of T cell showed significant positive correlation with dynamic lung function parameters and DLco (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: In lupus patients pleuropulmonary manifestations are prevalent and lung function and blood gas measurements should be regularly performed in the daily clinical assessment. Significant increase of activated CD4+CD25hi+ T cells, but not Treg is associated with decreased lung function parameters in SLEpulm patients.
Keywords: CD4+CD25hi+; Lung; Lung function; Systemic lupus erythematosus; T cells.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.