Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disease characterized by dysregulation of T cells. Programmed death (PD) 1 and programmed death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) are cosignaling molecules, and the major role of the PD-1 pathway is the inhibition of self-reactive T cells and to protect against autoimmune diseases. We measured levels of serum soluble PD 1 (sPD-1) and serum soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) in 67 patients with ITP (24 newly diagnosed ITP [ndITP], 43 chronic ITP [cITP]) and 21 healthy controls (HCs). We determined decreased serum sPD-1 levels both in patients with ndITP and in patients with cITP when compared to HC. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between sPD-1 levels and platelet counts. The sPD-L1 levels were decreased in patients with ndITP when compared to patients with cITP. This is the first study investigating PD-1 signaling pathway in ITP. Decreased sPD-1 levels may have a role in ITP pathogenesis as without the inhibitory regulation of PD-1, sustained activation of T cells may cause inflammatory responses which is the case in ITP.
Keywords: programmed death 1; programmed death 1 ligand 1; thrombocytopenia.
© The Author(s) 2014.