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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 808724, 8 pages
Research Article

Adaptive Immunity in Ankylosing Spondylitis: Phenotype and Functional Alterations of T-Cells before and during Infliximab Therapy

1First Department of Pediatrics, Semmelweis University, Bókay János Utca 53-54, 1083 Budapest, Hungary
2Albert Szent-Györgyi Health Center, Department of Rheumatology, University of Szeged, Kálvária sgt. 57, 6725, Szeged, Hungary
3Research Group of Pediatrics and Nephrology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Bókay János Utca 53-54, 1083 Budapest, Hungary
4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Semmelweis University, Bókay János Utca 53-54, 1083 Budapest, Hungary

Received 1 June 2011; Accepted 14 July 2011

Academic Editor: Peter Szodoray

Copyright © 2012 Balázs Szalay 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.


Our aim was to assess the phenotype of T-cell subsets in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease. In addition, we also tested short-term T-cell activation characteristics. Measurements were done in 13 AS patients before and during the intravenous therapy with anti-TNF agent infliximab (IFX). Flow cytometry was used to determine T-cell subsets in peripheral blood and their intracellular signaling during activation. The prevalence of Th2 and Th17 cells responsible for the regulation of adaptive immunity was higher in AS than in 9 healthy controls. Although IFX therapy improved patients' condition, immune phenotype did not normalize. Cytoplasmic and mitochondrial calcium responses of CD4+ and CD8+ cells to a specific activation were delayed, while NO generation was increased in AS. NO generation normalized sooner upon IFX than calcium response. These results suggest an abnormal immune phenotype with functional disturbances of CD4+ and CD8+ cells in AS.