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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 3419565, 8 pages
Research Article

CD4+CD45RAFOXP3low Regulatory T Cells as Potential Biomarkers of Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Brazilian Patients

1Laboratório de Imunomodulação e Novas Abordagens Terapêuticas (LINAT), Núcleo de Pesquisa em Inovação Terapêutica Suely Galdino (NUPIT-SG), Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), 50670-901, Brazil
2Laboratório de Parasitologia, Centro Acadêmico de Vitória, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), 50670-901, Brazil
3Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), 50670-901, Brazil
4Faculdade Nova Roma, 50830-260, Brazil
5Centre for Immunology & Infection, Department of Biology and Hull York Medical School, University of York, YO10 5DD, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Maira G. R. Pitta; moc.liamg@attiprgm

Received 18 March 2018; Revised 1 May 2018; Accepted 16 May 2018; Published 12 June 2018

Academic Editor: Michael Mahler

Copyright © 2018 Helena L. Silva-Neta 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.


Heren, we analyzed Treg cells as potential biomarkers of disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 30 SLE patients (15 active: SLEDAI > 6/15 SLE remission: SLEDAI< 6) and 15 healthy volunteers were purified. Treg immunophenotyping was performed using CD4, CD25, CD45, CD127, and FOXP3 markers. CD4+FOXP3+ Treg activation state was investigated based on CD45RA and FOXP3 expression. To increase the accuracy of our findings, a multivariate linear regression was performed. We showed a significant increase in the frequency of CD4+FOXP3+ Treg cells in SLE patients. However, unlike all other Treg cells phenotypes analyzed, only eTreg (CD4+CD45RA-) (p=0.01) subtype was inversely correlated with disease activity while Foxp3+nontreg (CD4+CD45RA-) (p=0.003) exerted a direct influence in the outcome of the disease. Foxp3+nontreg cells were the most consistent SLE active indicator, confirmed by multiple linear regression analyses. In summary, our results demonstrate Foxp3+nontreg cells as new biomarkers in the search of an effective therapeutic strategy in SLE.