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(99) Tc-methylene diphosphonate improves rheumatoid arthritis disease activity by increasing the frequency of peripheral γδ T cells and CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs

Dinglei Su, Minning Shen, Bingjie Gu, Xiaoqin Wang, Dandan Wang, Xia Li, Lingyun Sun
International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2016, 19 (6): 586-93

AIM: γδ T cells exhibit important functions in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In recent years, numerous studies harnessed the γδ T cell-activating capacity of aminobiphosphonates for the treatment of malignant tumors. As (99) Tc-methylene diphosphonate ((99) Tc-MDP) has long been widely used for the treatment of RA in China with good efficacy, we are interested in whether this drug exerts its therapeutic effect on RA by modulating peripheral γδ T cells of RA patients.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of (99) Tc-MDP on the frequency of γδ T cells and CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs in the peripheral blood of patients with active RA.

METHODS: Nineteen patients with active RA were treated with (99) Tc-MDP intravenously at a dose of 20 μg/day consecutively for 10-14 days. Before and after treatment, the main clinical and laboratory parameters for each patient were evaluated. The frequency of CD3(+) γδ(+) T cells and CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs was detected by flow cytometry. Serum levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: After intravenous (99) Tc-MDP therapy, the frequency of peripheral CD3(+) γδ(+) T cells and CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs were significantly elevated, paralleled with decreased serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 and increased level of serum TGF-β. The elevation of peripheral CD3(+) γδ(+) T cells was positively correlated with increased serum TGF-β and decreased disease activity.

CONCLUSION: (99) Tc-MDP may improve the activity of RA through upregulating the frequency of peripheral γδ T cells and CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) Tregs as well as affecting the serum cytokine environment by increasing TGF-β and decreasing TNF-α and IL-6.


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