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Characterization of Effector Memory CD8(+) T Cells in the Synovial Fluid of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cited 63 time in Web of Science Cited 61 time in Scopus

Cho, Bon-A; Sim, Ji Hyun; Park, Ji Ah; Kim, Hye Won; Yoo, Wan-Hee; Lee, Seung-Hyun; Lee, Dong-Sup; Kang, Jae Seung; Hwang, Young-Il; Lee, Wang Jae; Kang, Insoo; Lee, Eun Bong; Kim, Hang-Rae

Issue Date
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol.32 No.4, pp.709-720
Little is known about the cellular characteristics of CD8(+) T cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We addressed this by investigating whether the frequency of the CD8(+) T cell subsets and their phenotypic characteristics are altered in the peripheral blood and synovial fluid (SF) from patients with RA. In this study, CD8(+) T cells, mainly CD45RA(-) effector memory (EM) CD8(+) T cells, were increased significantly in the SF, but not in the peripheral blood from RA patients, compared with healthy controls. The synovial EM CD8(+) T cells were activated phenotypes with high levels of CD80, CD86, and PD-1, and had a proliferating signature in vivo upon Ki-67 staining, whereas the Fas-positive cells were prone to apoptosis. In addition, EM CD8(+) T cells in the SF were less cytotoxic, as they expressed less perforin and granzyme B. In particular, the proportions of synovial fluid mononuclear cells that were CCR4(+)CD8(+) T cells and IL-4-producing CD8(+) T cells (i.e., Tc2 cells) were significantly higher than those in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with RA and healthy controls. In addition, the number of IL-10-producing CD8(+) suppressor T (Ts) cells increased significantly in the SF of RA patients. Especially, CD8(+) T cells were inversely correlated with disease activity. These findings strongly suggest that EM CD8(+) T cells in the SF are increased, likely because of inflammation, and they may be involved in modulating inflammation, thereby affecting the development and progression of RA.
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  • College of Medicine
Research Area Function, Immune modulation by metabolites, T-cell anergy, differentiation of memory CD8+ T cells, metabolism


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