Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Pregnancy induces numerical and functional changes of CD4+CD25high regulatory T cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. Frauke Förger (frauke.foerger{at}lrz.tu-muenchen.de)
  1. Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Germany
    1. Natalie Marcoli (natalie.marcoli{at}insel.ch)
    1. Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
      1. Stephan Gadola (stephan.gadola{at}insel.ch)
      1. Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
        1. Burkhard Möller (burkhard.moeller{at}insel.ch)
        1. Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
          1. Peter M Villiger (peter.villiger{at}insel.ch)
          1. Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
            1. Monika Østensen (monika.oestensen{at}insel.ch)
            1. Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland

              Abstract

              Objective: In a prospective study we investigated whether numerical and functional changes of CD4+CD25high regulatory T cells (Treg) were associated with changes of disease activity observed during pregnancy and post partum in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

              Methods: The frequency of CD4+CD25high T cells was determined by flow cytometry in 12 patients with RA and 14 healthy women during and after pregnancy. FACS-sorted CD4+CD25high T cells and CD4+CD25- T cells were stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies alone or in co-culture to investigate proliferation and cytokine secretion.

              Results: Frequencies of CD4+CD25high Treg were significantly higher in the third trimester compared to 8 weeks post-partum both in patients and controls. Numbers of CD4+CD25high Treg inversely correlated with disease activity in the third trimester and post-partum. In co-culture experiments significantly higher amounts of IL-10 and lowered levels of TNFα and IFNγ were found in supernatants of the third trimester compared to post-partum samples. These findings were independent from health or disease in pregnancy, however post-partum TNFα and IFNγ levels were higher in patients with disease flares.

              Conclusion: The amelioration of disease activity in the third trimester corresponded to the increased number of Treg that induced a pronounced anti-inflammatory cytokine milieu. The pregnancy related quantitative and qualitative changes of Treg suggest a beneficial effect of Treg on disease activity.

              • Pregnancy
              • Regulatory T-Lymphocytes
              • Rheumatoid arthritis

              Statistics from Altmetric.com

              Request permissions

              If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.