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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 2842143, 7 pages
Research Article

Circulating Angiogenic T Cells and Their Subpopulations in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

1Department of Clinical Immunology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
2Department of Neurology, Chinese Navy General Hospital, Beijing 100048, China
3Department of Geriatric Gastroenterology, Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
4Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, Hanzhong 3201 Hospital, Medicine School of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Hanzhong 723000, China

Received 18 December 2015; Accepted 23 February 2016

Academic Editor: Amedeo Amedei

Copyright © 2016 Jinlin Miao 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.


Objective. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular risk. Angiogenic T cells (Tang), a specific T cell subset, have been identified and involved in the repair of damaged endothelium. This study aimed to analyze the Tang cell subsets in relation to disease specific features from SLE patients. Methods. Tang cell subsets were assessed in peripheral blood samples from 41 SLE patients and 22 healthy controls (HC) by flow cytometry on the basis of CD31 and CXCR4 expression on CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells. Results. The percentage of circulating CD8+CD31+CXCR4+ T cells (CD8+ Tang), but not CD3+CD31+CXCR4+ T cells (Tang) and CD4+CD31+CXCR4+ T cells (CD4+ Tang), in SLE was higher than HC. The percentages of Tang cell subsets in anti-dsDNA-positive SLE patients were significantly increased as compared to their negative counterparts and HC. Additionally, the levels of circulating Tang cell subsets were negatively correlated with age at sampling and at diagnosis, but not disease duration or disease activity. Conclusion. Anti-dsDNA-positivity may identify a group of SLE patients with increased Tang cell subsets and circulating CD8+ Tang cells may be viewed as a potentially useful biomarker of endothelial damage and cardiovascular risk in SLE.