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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 730450, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Increased Frequency of Bone Marrow T Follicular Helper Cells in Patients with Immune-Related Pancytopenia

Department of Hematology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, 154 Anshan Street, Heping District, Tianjin 300052, China

Received 23 June 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Dimitrios P. Bogdanos

Copyright © 2013 Hong Yu 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.


Immune-related pancytopenia (IRP) is one kind of bone marrow failure diseases which is related to autoantibodies. Autoantibodies have been detected on the membrane of various bone marrow (BM) hemopoietic cells by BM mononuclear-cell-Coombs test or flow cytometric analysis. There are autoantibodies in the BM supernatant of IRP patients, which can target several antigens on hematopoietic cells membranes by western blot. T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are the true helper cells for Ab responses, which represent one of the most numerous and important subsets of effector T cells. Dysregulation of Tfh cell function or expression of Tfh cell-associated molecules could contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Currently, there are no studies regarding the role of Tfh cells in IRP patients. The percentages of Tfh cells, Tfh-related molecules ICOS, CD40L, IL-21, and Bcl-6 in BM were investigated in 90 patients with IRP, and 25 healthy controls. We observed that there exist increased quantity and hyperfunction of Tfh cells in IRP, and the results were correlated with patient characteristics. It was indicated that dysregulated Tfh cells might be involved in the pathogenesis of IRP and that inhibition of Tfh cells effector molecules might provide opportunities for new therapeutic approaches to IRP and even other human autoimmune diseases.