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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 509021, 6 pages
Research Article

Reduced Expression of TCR Zeta Is Involved in the Abnormal Production of Cytokines by Peripheral T Cells of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

1Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical University, Kawagoe, Saitama 330-8550, Japan
2Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
3Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Dental College, Ichikawa General Hospital, Ichikawa, Chiba 272-8513, Japan

Received 28 March 2010; Revised 13 July 2010; Accepted 20 August 2010

Academic Editor: Brian Poole

Copyright © 2010 Keiko Yoshimoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Accumulating evidence suggests that dysfunction of T cells underlies the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We revealed that SLE T cells produced an abnormally excessive amount of IFN- in vitro upon stimulation through TCR, and the expression level of TCR zeta was significantly reduced. The production of IFN- by SLE T cells was negatively correlated with the expression level of TCR zeta. This correlation was abolished when the cells were stimulated with TPA and ionomycin, which bypass TCR and introduce signals directly into the cells, but the production of IFN- by SLE T cells remained abnormally elevated. Taken together, these data suggest that regulatory mechanisms not only for the expression of TCR zeta but also for the production of IFN- were impaired in SLE T cells. These impairments may be responsible for the aberrant responses of SLE T cells and partly involved in the development of SLE.