1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, the Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
2. Center of Translational Medicine, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
Background: Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by granulomas. Not enough evidences correlate the derangement of CD4+ T subsets, which have an impact on the therapeutic effects of corticosteroids, with the radiographical staging of sarcoidosis. Here we show the disturbance of CD4+ T subsets in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis, which is the most common stage in which corticosteroids treatment is used.
Materials and methods: 39 newly diagnosed and treatment-naïve patients and 9 subjects after corticosteroids treatment were included. CD4+ CD45RA+/ CD45RO+ cells, CCR4+ CCR6+ cells, and T regulatory cells (Tregs) were tested by Flow Cytometry Analysis. Th1/Th2, Tregs/Th17 related cytokines and mRNAs, SAA and CCL20 were also measured. The activation of PI3K/PTEN/Akt signaling pathway was detected.
Results: Percentages of CD4+CD45RO+ memory T cells and Tregs, serum levels of IL-17A, TGF-β1, IL-6, IFN-γ, IL-10, SAA and CCL20, copies of T-bet, FoxP3, IL-17 and RORc in the periphery were elevated in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis patients. Additionally, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was activated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells.
Conclusions: Disturbance of T memory cells, Th1/Th2, and Tregs/Th17 cells, and activation of PI3K/Akt signaling were seen in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis, which can be partly ameliorated by corticosteroids treatment.
Keywords: Stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis, Th17 cells, Tregs, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway