Expression of interleukin-2 receptor by activated peripheral blood lymphocytes upregulated by the plasma level of interleukin-2 in patients with recurrent aphthous ulcers.Proc Natl Sci Counc Repub China B. 2000 Jul; 24(3):116-22.PN
This study used flow cytometry to determine the peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets and a sandwich enzyme immunoassay to measure the plasma levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in 34 patients in different stages of recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU) and in 32 age/sex-matched normal control subjects. In the exacerbation stage of RAU, a significant increase in the percentages of CD3+ (p < 0.001), CD4+ (p < 0.001), CD4+ IL-2R+ (p < 0.001), CD8+ IL-2R+ (p < 0.01) and IL-2R+ cells (p < 0.001), in the CD4+/CD8+ (p < 0.01) and CD4+/CD3+ CD8+ ratios (p < 0.01), and in the plasma level of IL-2 (p < 0.001) was found in the patients as compared with the levels in the normal control subjects. However, in the post-exacerbation stage of RAU, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of CD4+ cells (p < 0.05) and in the CD4+/CD8+ (p < 0.01) and CD4+/CD3+ CD8+ ratios (p < 0.001), as well as a significant increase in CD8+ cells (p < 0.001) in the patients, as compared with the levels in the normal control subjects. Because the CD4+, CD4+ IL-2R+ and CD8+ IL-2R+ cell counts and the plasma level of IL-2 increased simultaneously in the patients in the exacerbation stage of RAU, we suggest that the markedly increased plasma level of IL-2 may have been secreted by the increased number of activated CD4+ cells, and that the expression of IL-2R by activated peripheral blood lymphocytes was upregulated by the plasma level of IL-2 in patients with RAU. In addition, the increase and then decrease of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio in the RAU patients and the increased number of CD4+ IL-2R+ and CD8+ IL-2R+ activated T cells in the RAU patients support the role of cell-mediated cytotoxicity in the immunopathogenesis of RAU.