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June 1997

Persistence of T-Cell Clones in Psoriatic Lesions

Author Affiliations

From The Immune Response Corporation, Carlsbad, Calif (Drs Chang, Smith, Kurland, Carlo, and Brostoff and Mss Froning, Schwabe, and Blumeyer), and the Psoriasis Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif (Drs Karasek, Wilkinson, and Farber).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(6):703-708. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890420031004

Background:  We previously demonstrated a clonal dominance in the Vβ13.1 messages isolated from the lesional CD8+ T cells of psoriasis vulgaris, which suggested an interaction of Vβ13.1+ CD8+ T cells with skin antigens.

Objectives:  To determine whether the clonality observed accurately reflected a clonal population of infiltrating T cells or was skewed by an overabundance of messages from a small number of cells, and to extend our study of Vβ gene usage by lesional CD8+ T cells to 9 new patients.

Design:  Case study.

Setting:  Patients were enrolled at the Psoriasis Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif, and samples were analyzed at The Immune Response Corporation in Carlsbad, Calif.

Main Outcome Measures:  For the 2 previous patients, skin samples were sorted directly for Vβ13.1+ T cells, for which the T-cell receptors were sequenced. For the 9 new patients, CD8+ T cells were sorted and their T-cell receptor Vβ gene usage measured using semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction with Vβ-specific primers.

Results:  The directly sorted Vβ13.1+ T cells exhibited clonal dominance in both patients. The dominant Vβ13.1 clone in each patient was the same as that found in the previous 2 biopsy specimens for which CD8+ T cells were sorted. Additionally, in 8 of the 9 new patients examined, we again found a preferential usage of Vβ3 and/or Vβ13.1 genes by the lesional CD8+ T cells.

Conclusions:  The clonality, which was found in the Vβ messages of the sorted CD8+ T cells, accurately reflects the dominance of these clones in the infiltrating T cells. Moreover, the persistence in the same patient of the same clone for as long as 15 months and the overrepresentation of Vβ3 and/or Vβ13.1 in lesional CD8+ T cells in the new patients examined support the pathogenic role of T cells bearing these Vβs.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:703-708