Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(9):1221-1230. doi:10.7150/ijms.34512

Research Paper

Circulating and Pulmonary T-cell Populations Driving the Immune Response in Non-HIV Immunocompromised Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia

Nan-Nan Zhang1,2,3,4, Xu Huang1,2,3, Hui-Ying Feng1,2,3,4, Lin-Na Huang1,2,3, Jin-Gen Xia1,2,3, Yan Wang4, Yi Zhang1,2,3, Xiao-Jing Wu1,2,3, Min Li1,2,3, Wei Cui5, Qing-Yuan Zhan1,2,3✉

1. Center for Respiratory Diseases, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, China
2. Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing 100029, China
3. National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases, Beijing 100029, China
4. Graduate School of Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
5. Beijing Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing Anzhen Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, Beijing 100029, China.

Abstract

Background: Previous studies in human subjects have mostly been confined to peripheral blood lymphocytes for Pneumocystis infection. We here aimed to compare circulating and pulmonary T-cell populations derived from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected immunocompromised patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in order to direct new therapies.

Methods: Peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage samples were collected from patients with and without PCP. Populations of Th1/Tc1, Th2/Tc2, Th9/Tc9, and Th17/Tc17 CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were quantified using multiparameter flow cytometry.

Results: No significant differences were found between PCP and non-PCP groups in circulating T cells. However, significantly higher proportions of pulmonary Th1 and Tc9 were observed in the PCP than in the non-PCP group. Interestingly, our data indicated that pulmonary Th1 was negatively correlated with disease severity, whereas pulmonary Tc9 displayed a positive correlation in PCP patients.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that pulmonary expansion of Th1 and Tc9 subsets may play protective and detrimental roles in PCP patients, respectively. Thus, these specific T-cell subsets in the lungs may serve as targeted immunotherapies for patients with PCP.

Keywords: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, HIV negative, immunocompromised, T cells

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How to cite this article:
Zhang NN, Huang X, Feng HY, Huang LN, Xia JG, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Wu XJ, Li M, Cui W, Zhan QY. Circulating and Pulmonary T-cell Populations Driving the Immune Response in Non-HIV Immunocompromised Patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(9):1221-1230. doi:10.7150/ijms.34512. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p1221.htm