CD4+CD28- T cells are expanded in sarcoidosis

Scott D. Roberts, Lisa L. Kohli, Karen L. Wood, David S. Wilkes, Kenneth S. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background and aim: A subset of CD4+ lymphocytes lacking CD28, an important costimulatory molecule, is increased in certain inflammatory conditions. However, studies have not directly studied CD4+CD28-lymphocytes in patients with chronic sarcoidosis. The aim of this study was to further characterize the CD4+CD28-T cell population in patients with sarcoidosis, particularly those with active disease. Methods: Seventeen patients with chronic sarcoidosis and 15 blood donors were studied. Bronchoalveolar lavage cells were available for paired analysis in seven sarcoid patients. In 4 sarcoid patients, adequate sample was available for intracellular cytokine analysis by flow cytometry. IFN-γ production in plasma and BAL was determined by ELISA and cytometric bead array analysis and compared to previously studied controls. Results: Peripheral blood from patients with sarcoidosis had a significantly higher proportion of CD4+CD28-cells compared with healthy donors. A higher percentage of CD4+CD28-cells was evident in the BAL relative to peripheral blood in patients with active sarcoid. IFN-γ levels were greater both in the plasma and concentrated BAL fluid of sarcoid subjects compared to controls. The majority of IFN-γ and TNF-α producing lymphocytes were CD28+ in both healthy blood donors and sarcoid subjects. Conclusions: CD4+CD28-cells are increased in the peripheral blood and lungs of patients with sarcoidosis requiring treatment. These cells may contribute to the inflammatory response; however, they are not major contributors of IFN-γ or TNF-α.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalSarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • CD28
  • Immunosenescence
  • Interferon
  • Lymphocytes in sarcoidosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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