Background Life-long latent CMVinfection seems to diminish the size of the naive and the early memory T-cell pool and to drive Th1 polarization within the immune system. Previous studies in patients with Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have shown that CMV-positive patients did not show an increase of CD28– effector T-cells compared to CMV-positive controls
Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the influence of latent CMV infection on the phenotype and cytokine profile of T-cell populations in children with JIA.
Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and serum samples were obtained from 16 JIA patients in clinical remission on medication and 18 age-matched healthy donors (HD). Serum CMV-IgG concentration was determined by ELISA. So far, phenotypical characterization of peripheral T-cells was performed in CMV-positive (n=9) and CMV-negative (n=7) patients by flowcytometry.
Results The proportion of memory T-cells (CD45RA–CD28+CCR7+/–) within the CD4+ T-cell pool was significantly increased in CMV-positive patients (mean 47.4±16.6%) compared to CMV-negative patients (mean 32.9±7.4%) (p<0.05). In contrast, the proportion of naive T-cells (CD45RA+CD28+CCR7+) (CMV+: 37.3±18%; CMV-: 46.1±10.9%) within the CD4+ T-cell pool, the proportion of effector-memory T-cells (CD45RA–CD28-CCR7+/–) andterminal differentiated effector T-cells (CD45RA+CD28–CCR7+/–) did not show a significant differences depending on the CMV-status. So far, no difference in the CMVpp65-specific IFN-gamma response could be found between JIA patients in remission and healthy controls.
Conclusions Our preliminary findings indicate a different T-cell response in CMV-positive JIA patients as found in CMV-positive healthy controls, possibly suggesting a disturbed peripheral T-cell response to latent CMV infection. So far it is unclear, whether these findings are primarily caused by the disease itself or secondarily to treatment and whether CMV may accelerate T-cell differentiation in JIA patients as described for healthy individuals. This may be of relevance for immune reconstitution of the immune system under T-cell-depleting therapies or during aging of JIA patients.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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