Evaluation of PBMC Distribution and TLR9 Expression in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Abstract: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease which results in damage to various organs. Some animal studies have revealed that activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is important in the pathogenesis of SLE. In the present study, the percentage of different immune cell subsets in 35 SLE patients and 38 control subjects was analyzed by flow cytometry. We also assessed the expression of TLR9 in the population of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) including T lymphocytes (CD4+ and CD8+), B lymphocytes (CD19+), NK cells (CD56+) and monocytes (CD14+) in SLE patients and healthy controls. The results showed that the percentage of CD8+ T lymphocytes and CD14+ monocytes were significantly higher (p˂0.001) in the SLE patients than the healthy control subjects. Moreover, the percentage of CD56+ NK cells were significantly lower in the SLE patients than the healthy control subjects (p=0.001). The findings indicated that the expression of TLR9 was significantly higher in CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and CD19+ B lymphocytes of SLE patients than in control subjects (all p˂0.05). The difference in TLR9 expression are involved in pathogenesis of the SLE, hence it can be used as an indicator for SLE diagnosis. Keywords: Autoimmunity; Lymphocyte; Monocyte; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Toll-like receptor 9