Due to their different antiinflammatory and immunmodulatory effects corticosteroids are widely used in the treatment of SLE. Literature data support both Th1 and Th2 dominance in lupus. There are only few reports about cytokine profile of CD8+ T cells in SLE.
In the present study we examined by flow cytometry the cytoplasmic IFNγ, IL-4 and IL-10 expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from six active, untreated, newly diagnosed SLE patients, who received after that 1 mg/kg methylprednisolon. Pretreatment expression of IFNγ was lower, while IL-4 and IL-10 expressions were higher in CD4+, but not in CD8+ T cells of patients than in control cells. Corticosteroid treatment increased IFNγ and decreased IL-4 and IL-10 expressions in patients' CD4+ cells, but had no significant effect on the cytoplasmic cytokine expression of CD8+ cells.
In conclusion, present results indicate that corticosteroid therapy does not influence INFγ, IL-4 and IL-10 expression in CD8+ T cells of lupus patients, and it may have pathogenic significance.