Circulating CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ T-regulatory cells in patients with atopic dermatitis after narrowband-ultraviolet B phototherapy


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Abstract

BackgroundPrevious studies showed controversial results regarding CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ T-regulatory cells (Tregs) in atopic dermatitis (AD) and effect of therapy.MethodsCirculating CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ Tregs were assessed by flow cytometry in 20 controls and 20 patients with AD at baseline and after narrowband ultraviolet B with assessment of disease severity.ResultsPatients showed higher pretreatment T-effector cells (Teffs) (%) and lower pretreatment Tregs FoxP3 expression% than controls (P = 0.003 and 0.01, respectively). Mild AD showed a lower Tregs/Teffs ratio compared to controls (P = 0.013), while moderate group showed higher Teffs%, and lower Tregs FoxP3 expression% and Tregs/Teffs compared to controls (P = 0.016, 0.007, and 0.009 respectively). The severe group had higher Tregs% and Teffs%, yet with a lower Tregs FoxP3 expression% compared to controls (P < 0.001, P = 0.043, P = 0.044, respectively). There was significant reduction of severity after narrowband ultraviolet B (P = 0.007), with overall significant elevation of Tregs FoxP3 expression% in patients (P = 0.004). All patients' post-treatment laboratory findings were statistically matched to each other and to controls whatever their previous severity or therapeutic response. The improvement of severity score correlated with the change in both Tregs% and Tregs/Teffs.ConclusionsSignificant reduction in AD disease severity is correlated with the change in Tregs% and Tregs/Teffs.

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