Altered Profile of Regulatory T Cells and NKT Cells As Characteristic of Chikungunya-Associated Polyarthralgia
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Chikungunya is an arboviral infection having huge disease burden throughout the tropics, including India. The chief manifestation of the febrile illness is the development of debilitating joint pain, which often leads to arthritis. Till date, very little is known about the disease pathophysiology, which is very important toward better patient management and development of therapeutics. This study aims to characterize different subpopulations of T cell in the peripheral blood of chikungunya patients which may give some idea about the immune homeostasis during acute infection. At a Medical research institute devoted to tropical diseases, 25 informed consented chikungunya IgM+ patients of different age groups were enrolled during April 2015 to March 2017. After clinical examination, lymphocyte count of peripheral blood was noted followed by three-color flow cytometry. Interestingly, there is no significant (P = 0.0583) change in CD3+ T cell population, but there is statistically significant increase in CD3+ CD56+ (P = 0.0003) population among chikungunya patients with/without polyarthralgia and healthy controls. CD3+ CD4+ CD25+ (Tregs) are decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) in chikungunya patients with polyarthralgia. CD4:CD8 is also altered significantly in chikungunya patients. From this study, it is concluded that an imbalance in Treg and NKT cell population is a characteristic of Chikungunya-associated polyarthralgia having possible immunopathological roles.
KeywordsChikungunya Polyarthralgia Regulatory T cell NKT cell
Nilotpal Banerjee is a recipient of Research Fellowship from Department of Biotechnology, Government of West Bengal (File No. 232/BT(Estt)/RD-24/2014). This scientific study is funded by Department of Biotechnology, Government of West Bengal (File No.: WBDBT Memo No. 232/BT(Estt)/RD-24/2014) India. We are thankful to Prof. (Dr.) Mitali Chatterjee, Dept. of Pharmacology, IPGME&R, Kolkata, India, for giving access to flow cytometry facility available in her laboratory.
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