Programmed death-1 (PD-1) is an inhibitory co-receptor that is highly expressed in T lymphocytes that has been shown to downregulate inflammatory responses in several inflammatory diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, the role of PD-1 in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has not been studied. In order to fill this gap, we measured the expression levels of PD-1 in peripheral T cells from patients with active disease. Twenty patients and fifteen age-matched healthy control subjects were recruited. The percentage of CD3 + PD-1 + T cells was measured by flow cytometry. Despite normal concentration of peripheral T cells, the expression levels of PD-1 were significantly higher in patients compared to healthy controls. Interestingly, among the patients, the expression levels inversely correlated with disease activity measured by disease activity scores (DAS28). PD-1 expression levels strongly correlated with the number of tender and swollen joints, but not with C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or psoriasis area and severity index (PASI). Functionally, in vitro ligation of PD-1 receptor in PsA T cells inhibited interleukin-2 (IL-2) secretion, Akt phosphorylation, and Rap1 activation. These findings suggest that PD-1 might serve as a biomarker for disease activity in PsA and highlight the need for additional studies in order to establish the role of PD-1 in PsA pathogenesis.
- psoriatic arthritis