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Mass cytometry studies of patients with autoimmune endocrine diseases reveal distinct disease-specific alterations in immune cell subsets

Magnusson, L., Barcenilla, H., Pihl, M. et al.

Although there is evidence that autoimmune diseases share similar immunogenetic mechanisms, studies comparing peripheral CD45+ cells from patients with autoimmune endocrine diseases in parallel are limited. In this study, we applied high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry to phenotypically characterize PBMC from patients with new-onset (N-T1D) and long-standing type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), Graves' disease and autoimmune Addison's disease (AD), as well as healthy controls. The frequency of CD20loCD27hiCD38hiHLA-DRint plasmablasts, CD86+CD14loCD16+ non-classical monocytes and two subsets of CD56dimHLA-DR+IFN-γ+ NK cells were increased in patients with HT. Subsets of CD56dimCD69+HLA-DR− NK cells and CD8+ TEMRA cells, both expressing IFN-γ, were expanded and reduced, respectively, in the N-T1D group. In addition, patients with AD were characterized by an increased percentage of central memory CD8+ T cells that expressed CCR4, GATA3, and IL-2. We demonstrate that patients with N-T1D, HT, and AD had altered frequencies of distinct subsets within antigen-presenting and cytotoxic cell lineages. Previously unreported alterations of specific cell subsets were identified in samples from patients with HT and AD. Our study might contribute to a better understanding of shared and diverging immunological features between autoimmune endocrine diseases.

Citation

Magnusson, L., Barcenilla, H., Pihl, M. et al. "Mass cytometry studies of patients with autoimmune endocrine diseases reveal distinct disease-specific alterations in immune cell subsets" Frontiers in Immunology (2020): doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00288.