CD8high+ (CD57+) T cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 1997 Feb;40(2):237-48. doi: 10.1002/art.1780400208.


Objective: To investigate the development and T cell receptor (TCR) usage of CD8+, CD57+ T cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

Methods: Three-color flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies (MAb) to CD8, CD57 and different TCR V beta gene products.

Results: The proportion of CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 (CD57/CD8) was significantly higher in RA patients compared with age-matched controls. Expanded TCR V beta populations were more frequent, and were found in both RA patient-derived CD8high+ (CD57+) and CD8+, CD57- populations. TCR V beta 5+ and TCR V beta 13+ expansions were present at high frequency (5 of 26 and 7 of 26, respectively). TCR V beta expansions in CD8high+ (CD57+) lymphocytes from RA patients were significantly larger than those in age-matched controls (expansion index 2.38 +/- 0.28, n = 41 and 1.63 +/- 0.09, n = 32, respectively), and were stable over time.

Conclusion: RA leads to an increase in the frequency of expanded CD8+ T cell subsets expressing selected TCR, due to expansion of TCR V beta + populations in CD8high+ (CD57+) T cells. Their restricted TCR usage suggests potential specificity for RA antigens and, therefore, a potential role in the pathogenesis of RA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • CD57 Antigens / analysis*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics


  • CD57 Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta