Autoimmune rheumatologic diseases

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Multi Dimensional Analysis of Immune Cells in Systemic Sclerosis Reveals Altered Frequencies and Function of Mait Cells

Friday, June 16
6:15 PM - 7:30 PM

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterised by excessive fibrosis of skin and internal organs, and vascular dysfunction. Association of T and B cell subsets have been reported in SSc, however there is a lack of systematic study of immune cells in this disease. Mucosal associated invariant T(MAIT) cells represent a novel class of innate like lymphocytes shown to be important in anti bacterial immunity. Recent reports have also highlighted the role of MAIT cells in autoimmune diseases. Here we report high dimensional mass cytometry based analysis of immune cells from peripheral blood of SSc patients. Mononuclear cells from blood of 10 diffused SSc (DcSSc), 10 limited SSc (LcSSc) and 10 healthy controls were analysed by mass cytometry using a 36 marker panel. Unsupervised clustering analysis was performed using Accense, to identify differentially expressed cell clusters in patients with systemic sclerosis. Clusters representing CD8+ T cells expressing TCR Valpha7.2 showed altered frequencies in patients. Particularly, T cells coexpressing TCR Valpha7.2 and CD161, representing MAIT cells, were significantly decreased in peripheral blood of patients with DcSSc (median=1.480%, p=0.0003) and LcSSc (median=1.2%, p=0.0047) as compared to healthy controls (median=9.245%). Upon activation, MAIT cells from patients showed reduced IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha production.
Our high-dimensional mass cytometry analysis reveals altered frequencies and function of MAIT cells in peripheral blood of SSc patients. This may be due to recruitment of MAIT cells to tissues or death mediated by chronic stimulation through possible microbial or yet undiscovered ligands.

Bhairav Paleja

Research Fellow
SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

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    Andrea Low

    Head and Senior Consultant
    Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Singapore General Hospital

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      Pavanish Kumar

      Research fellow
      SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

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        Suzan Saidin

        SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

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          Ahmad Lajam

          SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

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            Salvatore Albani

            Director
            SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

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