It has been reported Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) gene polymorphism is a risk factor for the development of Behcet's disease (BD). In this study, the association of HLA class II subtypes HLA-DP, DQ, DR, and T cell subsets in BD patients with arthritis was evaluated. Frequencies of HLA-DP, DQ, DR positive cells, and T cell subsets in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) were measured by flow cytometric analysis in BD, and compared to rheumatoid arthritis as disease controls and healthy controls. Frequencies of HLA-DQ were significantly decreased in whole PBL and granulocytes of BD active patients as compared to healthy controls. In monocytes populations, proportions of HLA-DR positive cells were significantly increased in BD active patients as compared to healthy controls. Proportions of CD4+CCR7+ and CD8+CCR7+ cells were significantly higher in BD active patients than in BD inactive in whole PBL. Frequencies of CD4+CD62L- and CD8+CD62L- cells in lymphocytes were significantly decreased in active BD than those in inactive BD. There were also correlations between disease activity markers and T cell subsets. Our results revealed HLA-DP, DQ, and DR expressing cell frequencies and several T cell subsets were significantly correlated with BD arthritis symptoms.
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