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Short-term and low-dose IL-2 therapy restores the Th17/Treg balance in the peripheral blood of patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome
  1. Miao Miao1,
  2. Zhenye Hao1,
  3. Yingying Guo1,
  4. Xiaoying Zhang2,
  5. Shengxiao Zhang1,
  6. Jing Luo2,
  7. Xiangcong Zhao2,
  8. Chen Zhang2,
  9. Xiaoqing Liu1,
  10. Xiaoyan Wu2,
  11. Dan Xu1,
  12. Jinfang Zhao3,
  13. Xuechun Lu4,
  14. Chong Gao5,
  15. Xiaofeng Li2
  1. 1 The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China
  2. 2 Department of Rheumatology, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China
  3. 3 Department of Medical Statistics, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China
  4. 4 Department of Geriatric Hematology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China
  5. 5 Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Xiaofeng Li, Department of Rheumatology, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China; lxf_9859{at}

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Based on evidence that low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) increases CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Treg (CD4Treg) cells in patients with graft-versus-host disease, induction of autoimmune tolerance has been proposed as a treatment.1 However, evidence-based guidelines for the management of primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) are lacking.2 Using a modified method of flow cytometry, we aimed to revaluate the exact levels of Th17 and CD4Treg cells in the peripheral blood (PB) of patients with pSS and explore the effects of short-term and low-dose IL-2.3 4

A total of 190 patients with pSS (169, treated with immunosuppressants; 21, new-onset (sampled as treated or new pSS patients below)) consented at enrolment to donate PB samples for comprehensive immunophenotyping (see online supplementary table S1 and figure S1). In the study, BD Trucount tubes were used to determine the absolute counts of total CD4+ T cells in the PB, and then, the absolute number of CD4+ T subsets, such as CD4Treg cells, were calculated. Detailed methods and statistical analysis is in online version (see online supplementary text). 

Supplementary file 11


Among the CD4+ T subsets in the PB of the healthy control …

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  • Handling editor Josef S Smolen

  • Contributors All of the authors were involved in the drafting of the article or critical revision of the important intellectual content, and all of the authors approved the final version to be published.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University.

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

  • Data sharing statement The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding.