Distribution and cytokine production of CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte subsets in patients with acute asthma attacks.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2001 Jun; 86(6):659-64.AA
The activation of T cells and the elevation of Th2-type cytokines have been observed in asthmatic patients, but the relative role of CD4 and CD8 T cell is still unclear.
To investigate the role of T cell subset in patients with acute asthma attacks, we analyzed the distribution, activation status, and cytokine production of CD4 and CD8 cells.
The percentages of the CD4 and CD8 cell in peripheral blood (PB) and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were analyzed by flow cytometry. The cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-gamma) and soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) were measured by ELISA in culture supernatants of CD4 and CD8 cells purified from PB.
The CD4/CD8 ratio in PB of asthmatic patients was significantly higher than that of controls, which was significantly reduced after treatment. In contrast, there was a tendency to high percentage of CD8 cells in asthmatic patients as compared with controls in BAL, which resulted in a decreased CD4/CD8 ratio. Comparing the T cell subsets in BAL with paired PB in asthma, the CD4 cells were higher in PB, but CD8 cells were higher in BAL. The IL-4, IL-5, and sIL-2R produced by CD4 cells were significantly higher than those produced by CD8 cells in asthmatic patients.
Our results provide evidence that activated CD4 T cells increase and produce type 2 cytokines in PB, but CD8 T cell are more sequestrated than CD4 T cells in the airway during an acute asthma attack.