T cell phenotypes in patients with common variable immunodeficiency disorders: associations with clinical phenotypes in comparison with other groups with recurrent infections

Authors


B. L. Ferry, Department of Clinical Laboratory Immunology, Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Headington, Oxford OX3 7 LJ, UK. E-mail: Berne.Ferry@ouh.nhs.uk

Summary

Common variable immunodeficiency disorders (CVID) are a group of heterogeneous conditions that have in common primary failure of B cell function, although numerous T cell abnormalities have been described, including reduced proliferative response and reduced regulatory T cells. This study compared the T cell phenotype of CVID patients subdivided into clinical phenotypes as well as patients with partial antibody deficiencies [immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclass deficiency and selective IgA deficiency], X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA) and healthy and disease controls. Absolute numbers of T cell subpopulations were measured by four-colour flow cytometry: naive T cells, central and effector memory and terminally differentiated (TEM) T cells, using CD45RA and CCR7 expression. Early, intermediate and late differentiation status of T cells was measured by CD27/CD28 expression. Putative follicular T cells, recent thymic emigrants and regulatory T cells were also assessed. Significant reduction in naive CD4 T cells, with reduced total CD4 and recent thymic emigrant numbers, was observed in CVID patients, most pronounced in those with autoimmune cytopenias or polyclonal lymphoproliferation. These findings suggest a lack of replenishment by new thymically derived cells. CD8 naive T cells were reduced in CVID patients, most significantly in the autoimmune cytopenia subgroup. There was a reduction in early differentiated CD4 and CD8 T cells and increased CD8 TEM in the CVID patients, particularly autoimmune cytopenia and polyclonal lymphoproliferation subgroups, suggesting a more activated T cell phenotype, due perhaps to an antigen-driven process. XLA patients had significantly reduced putative follicular T cells, which may depend on B cells for survival, while no significant alterations were observed in the T cells of those with IgG subclass deficiency or selective IgA deficiency.

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