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S.P. Mahesh, Z. Li, R. Buggage, R.B. Nussenblatt; Surface Expression of Glucocorticoid Induced TNF Receptor Family Related (GITR) Serves as a Marker for Non-Infectious Uveitis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4605.
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Purpose: To evaluate the expression of GITR ( Glucocorticoid Induced TNF Receptor Family Related) in peripheral blood lymphocytes in the normal population as well as in non-infectious uveitis patients. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from normal donors as well as from patients with non-infectious uveitis. Using a multiple color staining flow cytometry analysis procedure, GITR expression was studied in the various sub-populations of T cells. Results: In purified normal human PBMCs, GITR expression was low on resting CD4+ T cells while expression of GITR was highly increased in stimulated PBMCs. In normal human fresh blood, a small proportion of CD3+CD4+ T cells from normal donors constitutively expressed GITR. In addition, a higher percentage of GITR+ cells were observed among CD4+ CD25+ cells than in CD4+CD25- cells (p<0.01). In the non-infectious uveitis patient group, a significantly higher co-expression of GITR with CD25 was also observed (p<0.01). Interestingly, there was a significant increase of GITR expression in CD3+CD4+ T cells in uveitis patients compared to that in normal donors (p<0.01). This increased GITR expression was only seen in CD3+CD4+ T helper cells (p<0.01) but not in CD3+CD4- cytotoxic T cells. Also observed was the up regulation of GITR expression in CD3+CD4+ cells in active uveitis patients, which returned to normal when the patients disease became quiescent. Conclusions: GITR expression was seen in various subpopulations of T cells from normal donors and uveitis patients. It appeared to be preferentially co-expressed with CD25 in CD4+ T cells. GITR was upregulated in activated T cells as well as in CD3+ CD4+ T cells from non-infectious uveitis patients. The correlation of GITR expression with the disease course in non-infectious uveitis patients suggests that GITR may serve as a clinical marker for disease activity.
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