Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.


Numerical and Functional Deficiencies of Natural Killer T Cells in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Their Dysfunction Related to Up-Regulation of Cbl-b.

Cho2,  Young-Nan, Lee3,  Sung-Ji, Seo3,  Seong-Rye, Kee1,  Seung-Jung, Kim3,  Tae-Jong, Lee3,  Shin-Seok, Park2,  Yong-Wook

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospita
Department of Rheumatology, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Department of Rheumatology, Chonnam National University Medical School and Hospital

Purpose:

This study was designed to examine the frequency of natural killer T (NKT) cells and the response to a-galactosylceramide (a-GalCer) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to investigate the clinical relevance of NKT cell levels.

Methods:

Patients with SLE (n = 128) and age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 92) were enrolled in the study. NKT cell and CD1d levels were measured by flow cytometry. Gene expression was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and cytokine secretion by multiple cytokine assay. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were cultured in vitro with a-GalCer. Proliferation indices of NKT cells were estimated by flow cytometry.

Results:

Percentages and absolute numbers of NKT cells were significantly lower in the peripheral blood of SLE patients than in that of healthy controls, whereas CD1d levels in PBMCs were comparable between these two groups. Notably, this NKT cell deficiency was found to be correlated with SLE Disease Activity Index. NKT cell proliferation was found to be impaired in SLE patients, and cytokine production by NKT cells in response to a-GalCer was diminished. This poor responsiveness to a-GalCer was found to be due to a NKT cell dysfunction rather than to an abnormality in CD1d-expressing cells. Furthermore, this dysfunction was found to be related to the up-regulation of Cbl-b.

Conclusions:

Our data show that NKT cell levels and functions are defective in SLE patients. Furthermore, these deficiencies were found to reflect disease activity. It would appear that these NKT cell abnormalities could contribute to immune system dysregulation in SLE.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Cho, Young-Nan, Lee, Sung-Ji, Seo, Seong-Rye, Kee, Seung-Jung, Kim, Tae-Jong, Lee, Shin-Seok, et al; Numerical and Functional Deficiencies of Natural Killer T Cells in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Their Dysfunction Related to Up-Regulation of Cbl-b. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :505
DOI: 10.1002/art.28274

Abstract Supplement

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2010 ACR/ARHP