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Levels of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and type-2 myeloid dendritic cells are reduced in peripheral blood of patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome
  1. Petra Vogelsang1,
  2. Johan G Brun2,3,
  3. Gunnvor Øijordsbakken4,
  4. Kathrine Skarstein4,
  5. Roland Jonsson1,2,
  6. Silke Appel1
  1. 1Broegelmann Research Laboratory, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  3. 3Institute of Medicine, Section for Rheumatology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  4. 4Section for Pathology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Silke Appel, Broegelmann Research Laboratory, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Laboratory building, 5th floor, N-5021 Bergen, Norway; silke.appel{at}


Objective Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a lymphoproliferative autoimmune disease, characterised by dryness of the mouth and eyes. Dendritic cells (DC) are potent antigen-presenting cells crucial for initiating and maintaining primary immune responses. This study quantified interferon-producing plasmacytoid DC (pDC) and two myeloid DC subsets (mDC1 and mDC2) in peripheral blood (PB) from primary SS (pSS) patients and healthy controls.

Methods Blood samples from 31 pSS patients and 28 gender and age-matched healthy controls were analysed by flow cytometry using the Miltenyi Blood DC enumeration kit. The presence of pDC in salivary glands (SG) from pSS patients was analysed by immunohistochemistry.

Results Patients with pSS had significantly less pDC and mDC2 in PB compared with healthy controls. Moreover, pDC are present in SG from patients with pSS.

Conclusion Patients with pSS have alterations among DC populations in PB, and pDC are present in the SG, suggesting a potential role of these cells in SS.

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  • Funding This study was supported by the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bergen, the Strategic Research Program at Helse Bergen, the Western Norway Regional Health Authority, the Broegelmann Foundation, the Norwegian Cancer Society and the Bergen Research Foundation.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of Bergen, Norway (approval number 242.06).

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.