Author(s): Beeler A, Zaccaria L, Kawabata T, Gerber BO, Pichler WJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: T cells play a key role in delayed-type drug hypersensitivity reactions. Their reactivity can be assessed by their proliferation in response to the drug in the lymphocyte transformation test (LTT). However, the LTT imposes limitations in terms of practicability, and an alternative method that is easier to implement than the LTT would be desirable. METHODS: Four months to 12 years after acute drug hypersensitivity reactions, CD69 upregulation on T cells of 15 patients and five healthy controls was analyzed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: All 15 LTT-positive patients showed a significant increase of CD69 expression on T cells after 48 h of drug-stimulation exclusively with the drugs incriminated in drug-hypersensitivities. A stimulation index of 2 as cut-off value allowed discrimination between nonreactive and reactive T cells in LTT and CD69 upregulation. T cells (0.5-3\%) showed CD69 up-regulation. The reactive cell population consisted of a minority of truly drug reactive T cells secreting cytokines and a higher number of bystander T cells activated by IL-2 and possibly other cytokines. CONCLUSIONS: CD69 upregulation was observed after 2 days in all patients with a positive LTT after 6 days, thus appearing to be a promising tool to identify drug-reactive T cells in the peripheral blood of patients with drug-hypersensitivity reactions.
This article was published in Allergy
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology