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Tfh and plasma cells are correlated with hypergammaglobulinaemia in patients with autoimmune hepatitis

Authors

  • Liang Ma,

    1. Department of Central Laboratory, The Second Part of the First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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    • Both authors made equal contributions to this study.
  • Junjie Qin,

    1. Department of Hepatology, First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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    • Both authors made equal contributions to this study.
  • Huifan Ji,

    1. Department of Hepatology, First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Pingwei Zhao,

    1. Department of Central Laboratory, The Second Part of the First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China
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  • Yanfang Jiang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Central Laboratory, The Second Part of the First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, Jilin University, Changchun, China
    • Correspondence

      Yanfang Jiang, PhD., The Second Part of the First Hospital, Jilin University

      Changchun 130032, China

      Tel: +86 1375 6660113

      Fax: +86 0431 84808391

      e-mail: yanfangjiang@hotmail.com

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Abstract

Background

This study aimed at examining the numbers of different subsets of circulating Tfh and B cells in patients with new onset autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).

Methods

A total of 17 patients with new onset AIH and 17 age-/gender-matched healthy controls (HC) were examined for the numbers of ICOS+, PD-1+ and IL-21+ Tfh cells, CD27+, CD38+, CD95+, CD86+ and IL-10+ B cells were quantified by flow cytometry. The concentrations of serum IL-21 and IL-10 were examined.

Results

In comparison with that in the HC, significantly increased numbers of circulating CD38+, CD86+ or CD95+ B cells, ICOS+ and PD-1+ Tfh cells and increased levels of serum IL-21, but reduced numbers of CD27+, IL-10+ B cells were detected in the patients. The concentrations of serum IL-21 and IL-10 were positively correlated with the numbers of CD4+CXCR5+ TFH and CD19+CD5+CD1d+ B cells respectively. The numbers of ICOS+ or PD-1+ Tfh cells were correlated positively with CD86+ or CD95+ B cells in those patients respectively. The numbers of CD38+ B cells, ICOS+ or PD-1+ Tfh cells were correlated positively with the concentrations of serum IgG or IgM in the patients respectively; the concentrations of serum IL-21 were correlated positively with serum IgG, IgA and IgM and the concentrations of serum IL-10 were correlated negatively with serum IgG and IgM in the patients.

Conclusion

Circulating activated Tfh and plasma cells may be associated with hypergammaglobulinaemia during the pathogenic process of AIH in humans.

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