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Distinct patterns of naïve, activated and memory T and B cells in blood of patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Journal article
Authors Hardis Rabe
Marianne Malmquist
Cecilia Barkman
Sofia M Östman
Inger Gjertsson
Robert Saalman
Agnes E Wold
Published in Clinical and experimental immunology
Volume 197
Issue 1
Pages 111-29
ISSN 1365-2249
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 111-29
Language en
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


Both major subcategories of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are characterized by infiltration of the gut wall by inflammatory effector cells, and elevated biomarkers of inflammation in blood and faeces. We investigated the phenotypes of circulating lymphocytes in the two types of IBD in treatment-naïve pediatric patients by analysis of blood samples by flow cytometry. Multivariate analysis was used to compare the phenotypes of the blood lymphocytes of children with ulcerative colitis (N=17) or Crohn's disease (N=8) and non-IBD control children with gastrointestinal symptoms, but no signs of gut inflammation (N=23). The two IBD subcategories could be distinguished based on the results from the flow cytometry panel. Ulcerative colitis was characterized by activated T cells, primarily in the CD8+ population, as judged by increased expression of HLA-DR and the β1-integrins (VLA) and a reduced proportion of naïve (CD62L+ ) T cells, as compared with the non-IBD controls. This T-cell activation correlated positively with faecal and blood biomarkers of inflammation. In contrast, the patients with Crohn's disease were characterized by reduced proportion of B cells of the memory CD27+ phenotype, as compared to the non-IBD controls. Both the patients with ulcerative colitis and those with Crohn's disease showed increased percentages of CD23+ B cells, which we here demonstrate as being naïve B cells. The results support the notion that the two major forms of IBD may partially have different pathogenic mechanisms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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