Preferential localization of CD8+ α(E)β7+ T cells around acinar epithelial cells with apoptosis in patients with Sjogren's syndrome

Tsutomu Fujihara, Hiromi Fujita, Kazuo Tsubota, Keiko Saito, Kensei Tsuzaka, Tohru Abe, Tsutomu Takeuchi

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92 Citations (Scopus)


The T lymphocytes that infiltrate the exocrine glands in Sjogren's syndrome (SS) play a key role in damaging glandular epithelial cells, but the mechanisms of tiffs damage by T lymphocytes are not fully understood. To determine the cellular basis of this phenomenon, we focused our attention on the T lymphocytes around acinar epithelial cells in SS. We showed that CD8+ but not CD4+ T lymphocytes were located around the acinar epithelial cells and that a majority of these CD8+ T lymphocytes possess an unique integrin, α(E)β7 (CD103). The acinar epithelial cell adherent with α(E)β7 (CD103)+ CD8+ T lymphocytes was apoptotic. Both the perforin/granzyme B and Fas/Fas ligand pathways were implicated in the process of programmed cell death in lacrimal glands. These results suggested that α(E)β7 integrin, by interacting with E-cadherin, mediates the adhesion between CD8+ T lymphocytes and acinar epithelial cells in SS and participates in inducing epithelial cell apoptosis, leading to secretory dysfunction of exocrine glands, a hallmark of SS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2226-2235
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Aug 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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