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Phenotypes and clinical significance of circulating CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).

Yang J, Yi P, Wei L, Xu Z, Chen Y, Tang L, Li L. J Transl Med. 2012 Sep 15;10:193. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-10-193.


State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China.



CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role in maintaining immunological tolerance to self and foreign antigens. T cell receptors (TCR) reflect the composition and function of T cells. It is not universally agreed that there is a relationship between CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg frequency and the severity of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). The repertoire of TCR beta chain variable (TCRBV) regions of peripheral Tregs in ACLF patients is not well understood.


Human PBMCs were separated and sorted into CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg subsets using density gradient centrifugation and magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS). The CD4(+)CD25(high) Treg frequency in peripheral blood of ACLF and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients was measured by flow cytometry. The molecular profiles of TCRBV CDR3 were determined using gene melting spectral pattern (GMSP) analysis. TCRBV gene families were cloned and sequenced when the GMSP profiles showed a single-peak.


CD4(+)CD25(high) Treg prevalence in peripheral blood of ACLF patients is increased significantly compared to healthy donors (HDs) (P < 0.01) and CHB patients (P < 0.01). The prevalence of CD4(+)CD25(high) Tregs in ACLF or CHB patients is positively correlated with HBV DNA load. The TCRBV11, BV13.1, BV18, BV20 are the most prevalent TCRBV in CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs in ACLF and CHB patients. In addition, the CDR3 motifs were relatively conserved in these four TCRBV gene families.


The CD4(+)CD25(high) Tregs prevalence in peripheral blood is indicative of disease severity in ACLF or CHB patients. The relatively conserved TCRBV20 CDR3 motif "TGTGHSPLH" and TCRBV11 CDR3 motif "VYNEQ" may be used in helping diagnosis and treat patients with ACLF.


    • Total cases enrolled = 10516
    • Total centers across Asia = More than 95
    • Total manuscripts = More than 40
    • Total video conferences conducted = 98
    • Total abstract presented in conference by AARC group = More than 50

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