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Expansion of inflammatory innate lymphoid cells in patients with common variable immune deficiency

Cols, M., Rahman, A., Maglione, P.J. et al.

Background
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is an antibody deficiency treated with immunoglobulin; however, patients can have noninfectious inflammatory conditions that lead to heightened morbidity and mortality.

Objectives
Modular analyses of RNA transcripts in whole blood previously identified an upregulation of many interferon-responsive genes. In this study we sought the cell populations leading to this signature.

Methods
Lymphoid cells were measured in peripheral blood of 55 patients with CVID (31 with and 24 without inflammatory/autoimmune complications) by using mass cytometry and flow cytometry. Surface markers, cytokines, and transcriptional characteristics of sorted innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) were defined by using quantitative PCR. Gastrointestinal and lung biopsy specimens of subjects with inflammatory disease were stained to seek ILCs in tissues.

Results
The linage-negative, CD127+, CD161+ lymphoid population containing T-box transcription factor, retinoic acid–related orphan receptor (ROR) γt, IFN-γ, IL-17A, and IL-22, all hallmarks of type 3 innate lymphoid cells, were expanded in the blood of patients with CVID with inflammatory conditions (mean, 3.7% of PBMCs). ILCs contained detectable amounts of the transcription factors inhibitor of DNA binding 2, T-box transcription factor, and RORγt and increased mRNA transcripts for IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) and IL-26, demonstrating inflammatory potential. In gastrointestinal and lung biopsy tissues of patients with CVID, numerous IFN-γ+RORγt+CD3 cells were identified, suggesting a role in these mucosal inflammatory states.

Conclusions
An expansion of this highly inflammatory ILC population is a characteristic of patients with CVID with inflammatory disease; ILCs and the interferon signature are markers for the uncontrolled inflammatory state in these patients.

Citation

Cols, M., Rahman, A., Maglione, P.J. et al. "Expansion of inflammatory innate lymphoid cells in patients with common variable immune deficiency" Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2016): 1,206–15