, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 116–121 | Cite as

Expression of Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Shufeng Li
  • Wensheng Liao
  • Meng Chen
  • Shiying Shan
  • Yuanlin Song
  • Shuzhen Zhang
  • Haihan Song
  • Zhen Yuan


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by chronic inflammatory process that targets the synovial lining of diarthrodial joints. Programmed death 1 (PD-1) plays a key role in the negative regulation of the immune response. In the current study, we investigated the expression of PD-1 on peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in RA patients. Percentage of PD-1+ cells was measured by flow cytometry in 82 RA cases and 90 healthy controls. Results showed that PD-1 expression was significantly decreased in both peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in RA (p = 0.002 and p < 0.001, respectively). Similarly, serum levels of soluble PD-1 were also downregulated in RA cases. When comparing PD-1 level in RA patients with different clinical parameters, patients with positive C-reactive protein (CRP) revealed lower proportion of PD-1 on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells than those with negative CRP. Also, disease activity score of RA patients was inversely correlated with PD-1 expression on peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These data suggested that PD-1 may act as a negative regulator in the pathogenesis and progression of RA.


programmed death-1 T cells rheumatoid arthritis 


Conflict of Interest

No competing financial interests exist.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shufeng Li
    • 1
  • Wensheng Liao
    • 2
  • Meng Chen
    • 1
  • Shiying Shan
    • 1
  • Yuanlin Song
    • 3
  • Shuzhen Zhang
    • 3
  • Haihan Song
    • 4
  • Zhen Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsShandong Qianfoshan HospitalJinanChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedicsthe First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Shandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine, Emergency Center, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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