CD3+CD56+ NK T cells are significantly decreased in the peripheral blood of patients with psoriasis

A. Koreck, A. Surányi, B. J. Szöny, Á Farkas, Z. Bata-Csörgö, L. Kemény, A. Dobozy

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Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, hyperproliferative skin disease, in which autoimmunity plays a great role. Natural killer T cells (NK T cells), are suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of different autoimmune diseases. To examine the involvement of CD3+CD56+ NK T cells in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, we investigated the lymphocyte subpopulations obtained from blood samples of psoriatic patients before and after treatment, and of healthy controls, using two-colour flow cytometry. We found no significant differences between total T cells, total B cells, T helper cells, T cytotoxic cells and NK cells in patients with psoriasis before and after treatment and in controls. Increased percentage of memory T cells and decreased percentage of naive T cells was detected in psoriatic patients compared to controls, but these changes were not statistically significant. The CD3+CD56+ cells of psoriatic patients were significantly decreased relative to controls. The percentage of CD3+CD56+ cells increased after different antipsoriatic therapies, but remained significantly lower than those found in controls. CD3+CD56+ cells of healthy controls were capable of rapid activation, while in psoriatic patients activated NK T cells were almost absent. The decrease in the number of CD3+CD56+ cells may represent an intrinsic characteristic feature of patients with psoriasis, which is supported by the fact that after treatment NK T cells do not reach the values found in controls. In conclusion our results suggest that CD3+CD56+ NK T cells could be actively involved in the development of Th1 mediated autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2002



  • Autoimmunity
  • CD3CD56 NK T cells
  • Psoriasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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