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Regulatory T cells are persistently enriched in the peripheral blood of head-injury patients
Critical Care volume 13, Article number: P82 (2009)
We have previously shown that a significant proportion of patients have increased numbers of lymphocytes proliferating in response to myelin basic protein 10 days post traumatic brain injury (TBI); associated with a trend for more favourable outcome . This suggests that the adaptive immune response may have a protective role following TBI, as demonstrated in animal models . In this study, we further explored this process by examining the effect of TBI on regulatory T cell (Treg) numbers, and determining whether a change in Treg frequency was long lived.
We recruited 12 patients with severe or moderate TBI who required protocol-driven therapy to maintain cerebral perfusion and intracranial pressure. Blood samples were taken within 72 hours and 10 days post TBI. A separate group of patients was studied 6 months post TBI. Age-matched and sex-matched healthy volunteers were used as controls. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated. Flow cytometry was used to identify Tregs according to the surface expression of markers (CD4/CD25high/CD45ROhigh/CD127low).
When compared with controls, patients at 10 days and at 6 months post TBI showed a greater proportion of PBMCs with a Treg phenotype (Mann–Whitney U test; P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). The proportion of Treg cells at 72 hours was higher than controls, but this difference did not reach significance. See Figure 1.
We have shown that TBI upregulates CD4+ T cells with a regulatory phenotype. This effect is sustained for at least 6 months, and may modulate protective autoimmunity. Better understanding of the functional capacity and specificity of lymphocytes identified as Tregs may provide therapeutic targets.
Cox AL, et al.: J Neuroimmunol. 2006, 174: 180-186. 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2006.01.007
Hauben E, et al.: Lancet. 2000, 354: 286-287. 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)05140-5
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Galtrey, E., Cox, A., Chatfield, D. et al. Regulatory T cells are persistently enriched in the peripheral blood of head-injury patients. Crit Care 13, P82 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc7246
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell
- Protective Role
- Intracranial Pressure
- Treg Cell