Purpose: To characterize peripheral blood T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis (JIAU). Methods: Blood samples were taken from children with JIAU (n = 18), JIA without ocular involvement (n = 11), idiopathic anterior uveitis (IAU, n = 12), and healthy controls (n = 11). Cells were stained for T cell surface markers, and intracellular cytokine staining was performed after cell stimulation and analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: The Th1/Th2 ratio was increased in JIAU patients. Numbers of IL-13-expressing cells an level of IL-13 and IL-10 expression per cell were increased in all patient groups; whereas, percentages of IL-5-expressing T cells were decreased. Numbers of proinflammatory Th17 cells and T cells expressing CTLA-4 were increased in all patient groups; whereas, γ/δ T cell numbers were decreased. Results from JIA and IAU were similar. Conclusion: T cell subtypes and potential T cell function are altered in pediatric patients with uveitis and arthritis as compared to healthy children.
Keywords: Juvenile arthritis; PBMC; T cells; Th17; methotrexate; pathogenesis; therapy; uveitis.