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Evaluation of thymic function and regulatory T cells in peripheral T lymphocytes cells associated with activation and proliferation markers, and cell death assessment in patients with Systemic Lupus erythematosus

Grant number: 11/06346-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2011 - May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Applied Immunology
Principal Investigator:Cristiane Kayser
Grantee:Cristiane Kayser
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Atila Granados Afonso de Faria


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease whose pathogenesis remains undefined. Immunological changes characterized by loss of self-tolerance mechanisms are central changes in this disease. In this context, a number of changes are described in the population of T cells. Thymus is the organ responsible for T lymphocytes maturation and is important in maintaining self-tolerance and homeostasis of the immune system. Recently a new methodology was described for the analysis of thymic function in peripheral blood. It is the quantification of circles excised by rearrangement of the TCR (TREC), a marker of recent thymic emigrants generated during TCR gene rearrangement in the thymus. However, the levels of TREC in peripheral blood may be affected by other factors such as activation, proliferation of peripheral T lymphocytes and cell death. Moreover, naturally regulatory T-cells (CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+) derived from functionally mature populations in the thymus, plays an important role in controlling immune responses. The present study aims to evaluate the levels of TREC and TREG in peripheral T cells lymphocytes from patients with active and inactive SLE and the rate of proliferation, apoptosis and activation of T lymphocytes and cell TREG. (AU)

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