Expansion of γδ T-cells in Behçet's disease: Role of disease activity and microbial flora in oral ulcers

Ilan Bank, Mordechai Duvdevani, Avi Livneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


γδ T-cells participate in the immune response to infections and in autoimmunity by recognizing bacteria-derived and autologous antigens. The goal of this study was to evaluate the involvement of γδ T-cells in Behçet's disease (BD). γδ T-cells in the peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of Israeli patients with definite BD (n = 23), normal controls (n = 16), and patients with familial Mediterrranean fever (FMF; n = 20) were evaluated by means of flow cytometry. The responses of patient and control γδ T-cells to medium conditioned by microorganisms cultured from an oral ulcer of a patient with active BD were compared. The proportions of CD3+ and CD8+ cells in the PBMCs were not significantly different between groups. In contrast, γδ-T-cells accounted for 7.01% ± 4.42% of the PBMCs in BD compared with 3.56% ± 3.45% in FMF (P < .005) and 3.7% ± 3.15% in normal individuals (P < .009). Their numbers were significantly higher during active disease than in remission (9.45% ± 5.08% versus 2.27% ± 3.3%; P < .009). The number of T-cell-receptor γδ+ and Vδ2+ cells of BD patients, but not of controls, increased after 96 hours of culture in medium containing supernatant of microorganisms cultured from an oral ulcer in a patient with BD relative to their proportions in control medium: 58.2% vs 13.9% (P < .05) and 28% vs 9% (P < .04), respectively, of the cultured T-cells (n = 4). γδ T-cells are expanded in BD PBMCs during active disease. An exaggerated proliferative response to products released by microorganisms present in oral ulcers may play a role in this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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