Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease where a person’s own immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissues, leading to damage in different organs. Although the exact cause of SLE is not known, this disorder features hyperactive T cells and B cells. Specific laboratory tests that directly diagnose SLE are lacking. Diagnosis is commonly achieved by identifying the presence of a variety of signs and symptoms that can occur with the disease, but not specific for it.
The results of animal studies suggest that the activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) is a common feature in the development of SLE. TLRs are important receptors in the innate immune response (nonspecific defensive response). To determine the levels of immune cells and TLR expression changes, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with and without SLE were studied. To determine the percentage of PBMCs [T cells (CD4+, CD8+), B cells (CD19+), NK cells (CD56+), and monocytes (CD14+)], they were collected and stained with antibody against the different CD markers. The cells were also incubated with antibody against a TLR, TLR9, to determine the level of its expression.
The results showed differences in the percentage of various PBMCs in patients with SLE compared to patients that did not have the disease. The percentage of CD8 T lymphocytes and CD14 monocytes were higher in patients with SLE. However, the percentage of CD56 NK cells was lower. Also, the ratio of CD4 to CD8 T lymphocytes was lower in patients with SLE. The TLR9 expression results showed that TLR9 was higher in the CD4, CD8, and CD19 cells of patients with SLE. These data suggest that alterations in TLR9 expression are involved in the development of SLE. Also, there is an imbalance of the levels of PBMC cell types in patients with SLE. These factors can be used as more specific markers for the diagnosis of SLE.
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MORTEZAGHOLI, Sahar et al. Evaluation of PBMC Distribution and TLR9 Expression in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 3, p. 229-236, jun. 2016. ISSN 1735-5249. Available at: <http://ijaai.tums.ac.ir/ijaai/article/view/620>. Date accessed: 27 Oct. 2016.