Reduction in T gamma delta cell numbers and alteration in subset distribution in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Lunardi C., Marguerie C., Bowness P., Walport MJ., So AK.
We have studied the distribution of T gamma delta cells in the peripheral blood of 35 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 36 age-matched controls. The monoclonal antibodies A13, BB3 and Ti gamma A, which are specific for the V delta 1, V delta 2 and V delta 9 gene products respectively, were used to define T gamma delta cell subsets. A significantly lower frequency of T gamma delta cells was found in peripheral blood lymphocytes of SLE patients compared with normal subjects (3.2% versus 5.9%). There was a marked reduction in the V delta 2+ subset of T gamma delta cells, which resulted in a reversal of the ratio of V delta 2+/V delta 1+ cells from 4.34 to 0.56. No correlation was found with either clinical or laboratory measures of disease activity. These results suggest that the observed changed in T gamma delta subset distribution are related to the SLE itself, and not secondary to changes in disease activity.