Preferential type 1 chemokine receptors and cytokine production of CD28− T cells in ankylosing spondylitis

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To examine serum levels of type 1 and type 2 chemokines and lymphocytic expression of chemokine receptors, and to compare the results with lymphocytic cytokine production in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).


Twelve patients with AS (mean (SD) age 44.9 (14.7) years) and 27 healthy controls (46.4 (12.8) years) were enrolled into the study. The expression of chemokine receptors (CCR-5, CXCR-3, CCR-4) and cytokines (interferon γ (IFNγ), interleukin (IL)2, IL4, IL10, tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα)) on CD28+ and CD28− T cell subtypes was analysed by a three colour FACS technique of peripheral blood samples. Serum ELISAs were performed to detect the CCR-5 ligands CCL-5, CCL-3; the CXCR-3 ligands CXCL-10, CXCL-9; and the CCR-4 ligand, CCL-17 before and after administration of the TNFα blocking agent infliximab.


CD4+CD28− T cells had higher ratios of CXCR-3 to CCR-4 than CD4+CD28+ T cells. Both, CD4+ and CD8+CD28− T cells of patients with AS produced more IFNγ, TNFα, and IL10 than their CD28+ counterparts (p<0.05), and lacked the production of IL2 and IL4. Serum levels of CXCL-9 were increased in patients with AS to 59.2 pg/ml (34.1–730.5) compared with 32.5 pg/ml (20.0–79.5) in healthy controls (p = 0.016). The levels of both type 1 (CCL-5, CXCL-9) and type 2 chemokines (CCL-17) decreased under blockade of TNFα (p<0.05).


The profile of chemokine receptor expression and cytokine production by CD28− T cells suggests a type 1 immune reaction in AS, although IL10 is frequently produced by CD28− T cells. Treatment with TNFα blocking antibodies decreased both types of chemokines in patients’ sera.

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