Objective: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a lymphoproliferative autoimmune disease, characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes. Dendritic cells (DC) are potent antigen-presenting cells and crucial for initiating and maintaining primary immune responses. Here, we quantified interferon producing plasmacytoid DC (pDC) and two myeloid DC subsets (mDC1 and mDC2) in human peripheral blood from primary SS (pSS) patients and healthy controls in order to investigate whether alterations among DC subsets play a potential role in the disease.
Method: Blood samples from 31 pSS patients and 28 gender- and age-matched healthy controls were analyzed by flow cytometry using the Miltenyi Blood DC Enumeration kit. The presence of pDC in salivary glands (SG) from pSS patients was analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Patients with pSS had significantly less pDC and mDC2 in peripheral blood compared to healthy controls. Moreover, pDC are present in SG from patients with pSS.
Conclusion: Alterations among DC populations have been considered to play a role in other autoimmune diseases. Here we show that patients with pSS have decreased levels of pDC and mDC2 in peripheral blood and pDC are present in the SG, suggesting a potential role of these cells in SS.