- Paper Report
- Open Access
T cell homeostasis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- Frederique Ponchel1
© Current Science Ltd 2000
- Published: 4 December 2000
- T-cell differentiation
Immune abnormalities have been documented in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and are reminiscent of those seen in an aged immune system. Defects observed in the naive-T-cell compartment have raised the possibility of a defect in thymic function, which in turn will impose a proliferative stress on the total-T-cell compartment. In this paper, the authors address the issue of naive-T-cell homeostasis by determining the level of T cells that have T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), alongside telomere length and proliferative capacity, in RA patients compared to age-matched controls.
TRECs were reduced in RA peripheral blood, independent of disease duration. CD4+ and CD8+T cell telomere lengths were also reduced. This reduction was most marked in CD45ROnull cells, which display a lower proliferative potential compared to age-matched controls. The authors suggest that there is either a primary defect in T-cell generation, an increased T-cell turnover or a mixture of both. A normal naive : memory ratio in RA patients reduces the likelihood of an antigen-dependent T-cell expansion and reinforces the possibility of naive T cell proliferation to compensate for poor thymic function.
T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC) measurement, telomere terminal restriction fragment measurement