Considering the role of CD146 in lymphocyte/endothelial interactions , CD146 expression might correlate with adhesion and homing
markers. Expression of the proinflammatory chemokine receptor, CCR5, varied between HDs. Within the CD4, but not the CD8 subset, CCR5+ cells were over-represented on CD146+ T cells (Fig. 10). The expression of CXCR3, another chemokine receptor, also varied between donors, independently of CD146 expression (Supporting information, Fig. S7). HD CD4 and CD8 T cells expressed CD31/platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM) (Supporting information, Fig. S8) and CD54/ intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) (Supporting information, Fig. S9) at varying frequencies. CD146+ HD CD4 T cells, but not CD8 cells, were depleted click here slightly but systematically of CD31+ cells, and very Deforolimus slightly enriched for CD54+ cells. Throughout this study, dead cells were only excluded by scatter; non-specific binding of isotype control antibody to 0·1–0·2% of cells was seen in some experiments (Fig. 1). However, CD4 and CD8 cells differed in their co-expression patterns; some markers were enriched whereas others
were depleted, and the associations between CD146 and other markers in CD4+ T cells were consistent between donors and, where previously studied, consistent with earlier work. Taken together, the results are not explained by non-specific staining. Surprisingly few CTD patients showed evidence of CD146 up-regulation BCKDHB ex vivo (Fig. 3). The median frequency of CD146+CD4+ T cells remained normal in patients with SLE (1·60%), SSc (2·0%) and pSS (1·80%; one patient was just above the normal range). In contrast to previously described patients with SLE and pSS [30-32], including patients from our CTD clinic (C. Bryson and F.C. Hall, unpublished data), these patients showed no T cell activation or derangement of memory subsets or adhesion markers (Figs 4-10 and Supporting information, Figs S4–S9, middle panels). In these patients, systemic T cell dysregulation appeared to be minor or well controlled by therapy. This contrasts with
other studies of blood T cell activation in patients with SLE or pSS, with implications for the interpretation of our results (see Discussion). In contrast, the five sSS patients in our study had significantly increased CD146 expression on CD4 cells (median: 4·0%) and, to a lesser extent, on CD8 cells (Fig. 3). These patients harboured elevated frequencies of CD4 and CD8 cells expressing the activation markers CD25 and OX-40 (Figs 4 and 5; asterisks symbolize significant differences from HDs or other CTD groups by non-parametric anova). Moreover, the correlation of CD146 with activation markers was more extensive in the sSS patients. In all five patients, each of the activation markers tested (CD25, HLA-DQ, OX-40, CD69 and CD70) was over-represented in the CD146+ subpopulation of CD4 cells (Figs 4-6, Supporting information, Figs S4 and S5).