Rosmarinic Acid Induces Apoptosis of Activated T Cells from Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients via Mitochondrial Pathway
YUN-GYOUNG HUR, CHANG-HEE SUH, SUNGJOO KIM, JONGHWA WON
Journal of Clinical Immunology
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T cells play an important role in the initiation and the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and depletion of potentially pathogenic T cells was suggested as an important therapeutic protocol. We determined if rosmarinic acid (RosA), known as a secondary metabolite from herbal plants, had apoptotic activity toward T cells from RA patients and further verified target T-cell subsets. CD3+CD25+ activated T-cell subsets from most of the RA patients displayed significantly higher apoptosis rates than did the PBMCs and total CD3+ T cells. Furthermore, activated and effector CD4+ T cells, including CD4+CD25+ and CD4+CD45RO+ T cells, had a tendency of being more susceptible to RosA-induced apoptosis than that of resting and naïve T-cell subsets. RosA induced the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and the blockage of mitochondrial depolarization inhibited apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest that RosA induces apoptosis of activated T-cell subsets from RA patients via a mitochondrial pathway.