, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 119-127
Date: 15 Oct 2009

Zeta chain expression in T and NK cells in peripheral blood of children with nephrotic syndrome

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The idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) has been related to cellular immune disturbances. The zeta (ζ) chain, a component of the T-cell receptor/CD3 (TCR) complex and CD16 heterodimer in NK cells, plays a crucial role in T and NK cell activation and proliferation. The aim of our study was to examine zeta chain expression in CD4+, CD8+ T lymphocytes and NK cells in the peripheral blood of children with INS and to evaluate the effect of anti-CD3+rIL-2 stimulation on the level of zeta chain expression in the INS pediatric population. The study group consisted of 15 children with INS in relapse, 16 patients with INS in clinical remission, and 17 controls. The percentage of zeta-positive cells and the values of mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) were determined by flow cytometry. Compared with that in the controls, the percentage of zeta+ freshly isolated NK cells in children with INS in relapse was significantly lower, whereas, in CD3+/CD4+ and CD3+/CD8+ populations, no alteration was observed. There were no differences in the MFI values between the populations of freshly isolated cells either. Stimulation with anti-CD3+rIL-2 decreased the percentage of zeta+/CD4+ T cells and NKzeta+ cells in a significant way in all the groups analysed, whereas the percentage of zeta+/CD8+ T cells decreased significantly only in patients with INS in relapse. The altered pattern of zeta expression in fresh NK cells from children with INS in relapse, and the disturbed response of zeta+/CD8+ T cells to anti-CD3+rIL-2 stimulation in relapse, suggests the possible role of this chain in immune dysregulation in INS, particularly with regard to cytotoxic cells.