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Selective depletion and activation of CD8+ lymphocytes from peripheral blood of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis.
  1. B Dasgupta,
  2. O Duke,
  3. A M Timms,
  4. C Pitzalis,
  5. G S Panayi
  1. Rheumatology Unit, United Medical School, Guy's Hospital, London.


    A prospective study of 33 patients with polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis (PMR/GCA) was undertaken, firstly, to monitor sequentially peripheral blood CD8+ lymphocyte levels and, secondly, to assess the expression of activation markers on T lymphocyte subsets. The results indicated that there was a significant decrease in absolute numbers and relative percentages of CD8+ T lymphocytes, which returned to normal ranges after approximately 24 months' treatment, and that there was an increased percentage of CD8+ lymphocytes in PMR/GCA which express HLA class II antigens.

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