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Peripheral blood CD4+ T cell populations by CD25 and Foxp3 expression as a potential biomarker: reflecting inflammatory activity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Meng ZJ, Wu JH, Zhou M, Sun SW, Miao SY, Han HL, Chen L, Xiong XZ

Received 16 March 2019

Accepted for publication 25 June 2019

Published 30 July 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1669—1680

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S208977

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai


Zhao-Ji Meng,* Jiang-Hua Wu,* Mei Zhou, Sheng-Wen Sun, Shuai-Ying Miao, Hong-Li Han, Long Chen, Xian-Zhi Xiong

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: The temporally dynamic changes of CD25 and Foxp3 expression in CD4+ T cells are initiated by T cell receptor (TCR) signals strength or frequency. There is a deficiency of peripheral markers for assessing COPD activity, and the current study was conducted to explore whether peripheral CD4+ T cell populations based on CD25 and Foxp3 expression could serve as an indicator for COPD inflammatory activity.
Methods: The distribution and phenotypic characteristics of CD4+CD25±Foxp3± T cells from peripheral blood in different populations were determined by flow cytometry. The model for the differentiation of CD4+ T cells populations by CD25 and Foxp3 expression was explored in vitro.
Results: The frequencies of peripheral CD4+CD25+Foxp3− T cells and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells were increased in AECOPD patients, whereas the frequency of CD4+CD25−Foxp3+ T cells was increased in SCOPD patients without receiving systemic treatment. Phenotypic analysis revealed that CD4+CD25+Foxp3− T cells, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells and CD4+CD25−Foxp3+ T cells had received antigenic stimulation and resembled central memory or effector memory T cells. The differentiation of CD4+ T cells populations by CD25 and Foxp3 expression was dictated by TCR signals. The paired study indicated that the frequencies of CD4+CD25+Foxp3− T cells, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells and CD4+CD25− Foxp3+ T cells were decreased while the frequency of CD4+CD25−Foxp3− T cells were increased in the same patients from AECOPD to convalescence.
Conclusions: Collectively, we propose that the dynamic changes of CD4+ T cell populations by CD25 and Foxp3 expression could function as potential biomarkers for reflecting inflammatory activity in COPD.

Keywords: COPD, CD4+ T cell subsets, inflammation, peripheral biomarkers


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