The following is a summary of “CD4 T lymphocyte subsets display heterogeneous susceptibility to apoptosis induced by serum from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus,” published in the October 2023 issue of Rheumatology by Mesquita et al.
Serum from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients has been shown to induce apoptosis in T-lymphocytes(TL). Researchers started a retrospective study to evaluate the in vitro effect of SLE serum on regulatory T-cells (Treg), Th17, Th1, and Th2 from SLE patients.
They exposed peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from SLE patients or normal controls to a pool of sera from SLE patients or normal controls. Cells undergoing apoptosis or necrosis were labeled using Annexin V. Flow cytometry was employed to determine Annexin V-labeled Treg, Th17, Th1, and Th2 cells.
The results showed that CD3+ and CD4+ cells from SLE patients exhibited a higher frequency of spontaneous apoptosis/necrosis. In contrast, Th1 cells from SLE patients demonstrated a reduced rate of spontaneous apoptosis/necrosis compared to cells from controls. Incubation with SLE serum increased the frequency of apoptotic/necrotic CD3+, CD4+, and Th2 cells from normal controls and SLE patients, compared to cultures incubated with normal human serum (NHS) or without human serum. Th1 or Th17 cells did not exhibit an increased apoptosis/necrosis rate upon incubation with SLE serum. Treg cells from SLE patients were more susceptible to apoptosis/necrosis induced by SLE serum than those from normal individuals. Cultures without human serum showed increased apoptosis rates in Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells.
They concluded that SLE serum induces apoptosis in CD4 T cells, with differential effects on T-cell subsets.