Increased proportions of functionally impaired regulatory T cell subsets in systemic sclerosis

Emese Ugor, Diána Simon, Giovanni Almanzar, Ramóna Pap, József Najbauer, Péter Németh, Péter Balogh, Martina Prelog, László Czirják, Tímea Berki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Treg abnormalities have been implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Treg subpopulations and their cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-β in the peripheral blood of early stage SSc patients were investigated. We hypothesized that epigenetically regulated methylation of the FOXP3 promoter and enhancer regions are altered in Tregs of SSc patients, which might be involved in the T cell imbalance. CD4+CD25+Foxp3+CD127– Treg cells were significantly elevated in patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc and in patients with anti-Scl-70/RNA-Pol-III autoantibody positivity and with lung fibrosis. Increased CD62L+ Treg cells were present in all SSc subgroups. The production of immunosuppressive cytokines by both CD127– and CD62L+ Tregs was diminished. We observed reduced methylation of Treg specific FOXP3 enhancer regions, and elevated FOXP3 gene expression in active SSc cases with negative correlation in the frequency of CD62L+IL-10+ Tregs. Our data indicate an inappropriate distribution and cytokine production of Treg cells in early form SSc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Epigenetic regulation
  • FOXP3
  • IL-10
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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