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11.11.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2018

Virchows Archiv 2/2018

In vasculitis of small muscular arteries, activation of vessel-infiltrating CD8 T cells seems to be antigen-independent

Zeitschrift:
Virchows Archiv > Ausgabe 2/2018
Autoren:
Mikiko Kobayashi, Eisaku Ogawa, Ryuhei Okuyama, Hiroyuki Kanno

Abstract

The etiology of polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) and localized PAN is still unknown, although a T cell-mediated immune mechanism has been considered. CD8 T cells participate not only in the antigen-dependent adaptive immune system, but also in the antigen-independent innate immune system. Non-antigen-activated CD8 T cells express a unique phenotype: granzyme B (GrB) positive /CD25 negative /programmed death-1 (PD-1) negative. The aims of this study were to assess the participation of T cells, especially innate CD8 T cells, in the development of vasculitis. Twenty-eight consecutive cases of skin biopsy specimens with cutaneous vasculitis of small muscular arteries (CVSMA) were retrieved. The series comprises of 21 cases of cutaneous arteritis, three cases of PAN, and four cases of rheumatoid vasculitis. Cases of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis were excluded. The phenotypes of infiltrating lymphocytes in vasculitis lesions were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. In most cases of CVSMA, the number of CD8 T cells infiltrating the intima was higher than that of CD4 T cells, and significant numbers of GrB-positive cells, which represent activated CD8 T cells, were observed. However, GrB/CD25-double-positive cells, which correspond to antigen-activated T cells, were very few in a small number of cases. Cells positive for PD-1, which is also expressed on antigen-activated CD8 T cells, were not detected. We conclude that a T cell-mediated immune mechanism, involving cytotoxic CD8 T cells, may play a role in the development of CVSMA. Low expression of CD25 in activated CD8 T cells suggests that activation was antigen-independent.

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