Increased prevalence of activated CD70+CD4+ T cells in the periphery of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

B. K. Han, A. M. White, K. H. Dao, D. R. Karp, E. K. Wakeland, Laurie S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by loss of immune tolerance. A hallmark of SLE is the presence of autoantibodies resulting from B cell hyperactivity. Previous studies have shown that the presence of abnormal B cell subsets in the periphery, such as CD27highCD20- B cells, correlate with disease activity. We examined the relationship between the expression of CD70, the ligand for CD27 expressed by activated T cells, and indicators of disease activity. A significant increase in median CD70 +CD4+ T cell frequencies and memory CD45RA -CD4+ T cell frequencies was observed in SLE samples as compared to healthy controls. The frequencies of CD70+CD4+ T cells correlated with disease duration but not age, treatment, or disease activity. Although a majority of CD70+CD4+ T cells appeared to be effector memory cells, mitogen-stimulated CD70 +CD4+ T cells were capable of secreting a full repertoire of effector cytokines. Despite the presence of activated CD4+ T cells, no increase in immunosenescent CD4+ T cells, as defined by the loss of CD28 and/or the acquisition of CD57 was observed in samples from SLE patients. These studies indicate that increased CD70 expression might serve as a useful marker of abnormal T cell activity in SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-606
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 22 2005


  • CD27
  • CD70
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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