The effect of TNF-blockers on T-lymphocyte subsets is largely unknown in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). The aim of the present study was to analyze the prevalence of T-cell subtypes and their correlation to therapeutic response. Sixty-eight patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), 46 with ulcerative colitis (UC) were enrolled. (1) The clinical course was followed after the initiation of TNF-blockers (prospective study). (2) The immunophenotype was also compared between long-term anti-TNF treated-responders and non-responders (cross-sectional study). The results were compared with those of therapy-naïve patients with active disease and those in remission with non-biological immunosuppressive therapy, and with healthy controls. Fourteen subtypes of peripheral blood T cells were measured with flow cytometry. The prevalence of Th2 and Th17 cells, of HLA-DR- and CD69-positive CD4 and CD8 cells, was higher, whereas the percentage of CD45RA-positive CD4 and CD8 cells was lower in both IBDs than in controls. CD8CD69 cell frequency was lower in remission, and decreased during anti-TNF therapy in CD responders. CD8CD45RO memory cells had higher prevalence in UC non-responders than in those starting anti-TNF. CD4CD45RO percentage < 49.05 at the initiation of TNF-blockers was predictive of a subsequent therapeutic response in CD, and Th2 and Th17 prevalence correlated with the duration of remission on TNF-blockers in UC. This study provided a detailed description of the T-cell composition in IBDs. CD8CD69 prevalence may be an activity marker in CD, and CD4CD45RO, Th2 and Th17 levels could be predictive for a therapeutic response to anti-TNF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy