Low expression of CD39(+) /CD45RA(+) on regulatory T cells (Treg ) cells in type 1 diabetic children in contrast to high expression of CD101(+) /CD129(+) on Treg cells in children with coeliac disease

K Åkesson, A Tompa, A Rydén, M Faresjö
Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2015, 180 (1): 70-82
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and coeliac disease are both characterized by an autoimmune feature. As T1D and coeliac disease share the same risk genes, patients risk subsequently developing the other disease. This study aimed to investigate the expression of T helper (Th), T cytotoxic (Tc) and regulatory T cells (Treg ) in T1D and/or coeliac disease children in comparison to healthy children. Subgroups of T cells (Th : CD4(+) or Tc : CD8(+) ); naive (CD27(+) CD28(+) CD45RA(+) CCR7(+) ), central memory (CD27(+) CD28(+) CD45RA(-) CCR7(+) ), effector memory (early differentiated; CD27(+) CD28(+) CD45RA(-) CCR7(-) and late differentiated; CD27(-) CD28(-) CD45RA(-) CCR7(-) ), terminally differentiated effector cells (TEMRA; CD27(-) CD28(-) CD45RA(+) CCR7(-) ) and Treg (CD4(+) CD25(+) FOXP3(+) CD127(-) ) cells, and their expression of CD39, CD45RA, CD101 and CD129, were studied by flow cytometry in T1D and/or coeliac disease children or without any of these diseases (reference group). Children diagnosed with both T1D and coeliac disease showed a higher percentage of TEMRA CD4(+) cells (P < 0·05), but lower percentages of both early and late effector memory CD8(+) cells (P < 0·05) compared to references. Children with exclusively T1D had lower median fluorescence intensity (MFI) of forkhead box protein 3 (FoxP3) (P < 0·05) and also a lower percentage of CD39(+) and CD45RA(+) within the Treg population (CD4(+) CD25(+) FOXP3(+) CD127(-) ) (P < 0·05). Children with exclusively coeliac disease had a higher MFI of CD101 (P < 0·01), as well as a higher percentage of CD129(+) (P < 0·05), in the CD4(+) CD25(hi) lymphocyte population, compared to references. In conclusion, children with combined T1D and coeliac disease have a higher percentage of differentiated CD4(+) cells compared to CD8(+) cells. T1D children show signs of low CD39(+) /CD45RA(+) Treg cells that may indicate loss of suppressive function. Conversely, children with coeliac disease show signs of CD101(+) /CD129(+) Treg cells that may indicate suppressor activity.

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