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Arthritis Res Ther. 2010; 12(3): R109.
Published online Jun 3, 2010. doi:  10.1186/ar3043
PMCID: PMC2911900
Phenotype and functional changes of Vγ9/Vδ2 T lymphocytes in Behçet's disease and the effect of infliximab on Vγ9/Vδ2 T cell expansion, activation and cytotoxicity
Antonina Accardo-Palumbo,1 Anna Rita Giardina,1 Francesco Ciccia,1 Angelo Ferrante,1 Alfonso Principato,1 Rosalia Impastato,1 Ennio Giardina,1 and Giovanni Triolocorresponding author1
1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Palermo, piazza delle Cliniche 2, 90127 Palermo, Italy
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Antonina Accardo-Palumbo: g.triolo/at/unipa.it; Anna Rita Giardina: a.ritagiardina/at/libero.it; Francesco Ciccia: francescociccia/at/tiscali.it; Angelo Ferrante: angelo_ferrante/at/msn.com; Alfonso Principato: g.triolo/at/unipa.it; Rosalia Impastato: g.triolo/at/unipa.it; Ennio Giardina: g.triolo/at/unipa.it; Giovanni Triolo: g.triolo/at/unipa.it
Received February 26, 2010; Revised May 7, 2010; Accepted June 3, 2010.
Abstract
Introduction
Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that has been introduced recently for Behçet's disease (BD) patients who were resistant to standard treatment. The aim of this study was to analyse the functional changes of Vγ9/Vδ2 T lymphocytes in both active and inactive disease and the effect of infliximab on Vγ9/Vδ2 T cell expansion, activation and cytotoxicity.
Methods
We investigated 1) cell expansion, 2) expression of TNFRII receptor, 3) perforin and gamma interferon (IFN) content, 4) release of granzyme A (GrA) and 5) phenotype changes, in vitro and in vivo, in Vγ9/Vδ2 T lymphocytes by means of fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis of lymphocyte cultures from patients with active and inactive BD and healthy subjects.
Results
Cell expansion, expression of TNFRII, perforin and gamma IFN content and release of granzyme A were significantly higher in active patients. In vitro and ex vivo treatment with infliximab resulted in a significant reduction of all parameters together with changes in the phenotype of Vγ9/Vδ2 T cells.
Conclusions
All together these data indicate that infliximab is capable of interfering with Vγ9/Vδ2 T cell function in BD and although cell culture models cannot reliably predict all potential effects of the drug in vivo, our results present the possibility that this drug may find use in a range of immunological disorders, characterized by dysregulated cell-mediated immunity.
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