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CD28 - Cells Are Increased in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Are Linked With Cytomegalovirus Status


Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 May 5;7:129. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00129. eCollection 2020.

Charlotte Thompson 1 2, Ruth Davies 1, Anwen Williams 1, Gareth Jones 1 3, Ernest H S Choy 1

Author Information

1 CREATE Centre, Section of Rheumatology, Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom.

3 School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Biomedical Sciences Building, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Free PMC article


Objective: CD3+CD8+CD28- cells are higher in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to assess CD3+CD8+CD28- cells in patients with early RA and assess the effects of cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity. Method: In this prospective observation study, 50 RA patients were recruited from Cardiff University Hospital of Wales (UHW) rheumatology outpatient, 25 patients with early disease (disease duration 0-6 months) and 25 patients with established disease (>2 years). These were compared with 25 healthy controls. Clinical and serological markers of inflammation were noted, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed using flow cytometry. Results: The percentage of the CD8+CD28- T cells was increased in RA patients and was associated with disease duration. The percentage of CD8+CD28- T cells was increased in CMV positive early and established RA grouped and early RA patients in comparison to CMV negative patients (p < 0.05). There is a weak but statistically significant correlation between the percentage of CD3+CD8+CD28- cells and CRP in CMV positive RA patients (r = 0.227, p < 0.05). Conclusion:The percentage of CD8+CD28- T cells is higher in RA patients and correlates with disease duration, highlighting a potential role early in the disease process. These cells were also higher in CMV positive early RA patients which may suggest a role of CMV in disease development.