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Sex-based differences in association between circulating T cell subsets and disease activity in untreated early rheumatoid arthritis patients

Aldridge, Jonathan; Pandya, Jayesh M.; Meurs, Linda; Andersson, Kerstin LU ; Nordström, Inger; Theander, Elke LU ; Lundell, Anna Carin and Rudin, Anna (2018) In Arthritis Research and Therapy 20(1).
Abstract

Background: It is not known if sex-based disparities in immunological factors contribute to the disease process in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Hence, we examined whether circulating T cell subset proportions and their association with disease activity differed in male and female patients with untreated early rheumatoid arthritis (ueRA). Methods: Proportions of T cell subsets were analyzed in peripheral blood from 72 ueRA DMARD- and corticosteroid-naïve patients (50 females and 22 males) and in 31 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Broad analysis of helper and regulatory CD4+ T cell subsets was done using flow cytometry. Disease activity in patients was assessed using DAS28, CDAI, swollen joint counts, tender joint counts,... (More)

Background: It is not known if sex-based disparities in immunological factors contribute to the disease process in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Hence, we examined whether circulating T cell subset proportions and their association with disease activity differed in male and female patients with untreated early rheumatoid arthritis (ueRA). Methods: Proportions of T cell subsets were analyzed in peripheral blood from 72 ueRA DMARD- and corticosteroid-naïve patients (50 females and 22 males) and in 31 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Broad analysis of helper and regulatory CD4+ T cell subsets was done using flow cytometry. Disease activity in patients was assessed using DAS28, CDAI, swollen joint counts, tender joint counts, CRP, and ESR. Results: Multivariate factor analyses showed that male and female ueRA patients display distinct profiles of association between disease activity and circulating T cell subset proportions. In male, but not female, ueRA patients Th2 cells showed a positive association with disease activity and correlated significantly with DAS28-ESR, CDAI, and swollen and tender joint counts. Likewise, proportions of non-regulatory CTLA-4+ T cells associated positively with disease activity in male patients only, and correlated with DAS28-ESR. In contrast, there was a negative relation between Th1Th17 subset proportions and disease activity in males only. The proportions of Th17 cells correlated positively with DAS28-ESR in males only, while proportions of Th1 cells showed no relation to disease activity in either sex. There were no significant differences in proportions of T cell subsets between the sexes in patients with ueRA. Conclusions: Our findings show sex-based differences in the association between T cell subsets and disease activity in ueRA patients, and that Th2 helper T cells may have a role in regulating disease activity in male patients.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Disease activity, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sex, T cells
in
Arthritis Research and Therapy
volume
20
issue
1
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:85050299717
ISSN
1478-6354
DOI
10.1186/s13075-018-1648-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d5c6c04d-6e4a-4c88-b8ad-733767ce2336
date added to LUP
2018-08-20 10:57:02
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:21:13
@article{d5c6c04d-6e4a-4c88-b8ad-733767ce2336,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: It is not known if sex-based disparities in immunological factors contribute to the disease process in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Hence, we examined whether circulating T cell subset proportions and their association with disease activity differed in male and female patients with untreated early rheumatoid arthritis (ueRA). Methods: Proportions of T cell subsets were analyzed in peripheral blood from 72 ueRA DMARD- and corticosteroid-naïve patients (50 females and 22 males) and in 31 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Broad analysis of helper and regulatory CD4<sup>+</sup> T cell subsets was done using flow cytometry. Disease activity in patients was assessed using DAS28, CDAI, swollen joint counts, tender joint counts, CRP, and ESR. Results: Multivariate factor analyses showed that male and female ueRA patients display distinct profiles of association between disease activity and circulating T cell subset proportions. In male, but not female, ueRA patients Th2 cells showed a positive association with disease activity and correlated significantly with DAS28-ESR, CDAI, and swollen and tender joint counts. Likewise, proportions of non-regulatory CTLA-4<sup>+</sup> T cells associated positively with disease activity in male patients only, and correlated with DAS28-ESR. In contrast, there was a negative relation between Th1Th17 subset proportions and disease activity in males only. The proportions of Th17 cells correlated positively with DAS28-ESR in males only, while proportions of Th1 cells showed no relation to disease activity in either sex. There were no significant differences in proportions of T cell subsets between the sexes in patients with ueRA. Conclusions: Our findings show sex-based differences in the association between T cell subsets and disease activity in ueRA patients, and that Th2 helper T cells may have a role in regulating disease activity in male patients.</p>},
  articleno    = {150},
  author       = {Aldridge, Jonathan and Pandya, Jayesh M. and Meurs, Linda and Andersson, Kerstin and Nordström, Inger and Theander, Elke and Lundell, Anna Carin and Rudin, Anna},
  issn         = {1478-6354},
  keyword      = {Disease activity,Rheumatoid arthritis,Sex,T cells},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {Arthritis Research and Therapy},
  title        = {Sex-based differences in association between circulating T cell subsets and disease activity in untreated early rheumatoid arthritis patients},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-018-1648-2},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2018},
}