Klinisk institutt 2

Midtveisevaluering - Richard Allan Davies




Single cell analysis of peripheral blood in Sjögren’s syndrome patients


Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltrates of the salivary and lacrimal glands, and immune-mediated glandular destruction. The disease is chronic, disabling and there is no cure for the disease. Diagnosis of the disease is difficult due to the lack of specific symptoms, with many pSS patients misclassified. The management of the disease is limited with treatments currently based mainly on symptom relief. Like most autoimmune diseases pSS progression and phenotype is heterogeneous with many patients clinical presentation limited to benign manifestations, while others develop extraglandular manifestation as well as life threatening conditions such as lymphoma. These factors highlight the urgent need for novel disease markers for pSS. New markers for pSS that are specific for diagnosis or useful to predict disease development have the potential to radically change how we treat, diagnose and define the disease. 


In my project I used flow cytometry based assays in the search for new disease markers for pSS. Trucount absolute counting tubes were used to quantify and compare absolute counts of leukocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood of pSS patients and healthy, gender and age matched donors. We identified significant quantitative shifts in leukocyte subpopulations of pSS patients compared to healthy donors as well as significant shifts associated with patient phenotypes. Additionally, phospho specific flow cytometry was used to investigate intracellular signaling profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from pSS patients and healthy, gender and age matched donors. The signaling profile of SS patients was significantly different from that of healthy donors.