Effect of colchicine on immunoregulatory abnormalities in familial Mediterranean fever

M. Schlesinger, D. Ilfeld, Z. T. Handzel, Y. Altman, O. Kuperman, S. Levin, C. Bibi, L. Netzer, N. Trainin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of colchicine on immunoregulatory T lymphocytes in children with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) was studied. Concanavalin A (Con-A)-induced suppressor cell function was significantly (P <0.0001) decreased in 5 untreated FMF patients (15±3%, mean ± s.e.) as compared to 6 age matched paediatric controls (46±3%) and 8 healthy adults (49±4%). When the 5 untreated FMF patients' mononuclear cells were pre-incubated in vitro with Con A plus 10-5 M colchicine, their suppressor cell function was significantly increased (52±10%, P <0.01). Similarly, oral colchicine treatment (0.5 mg twice daily) significantly (P=0.02) increased the 5 FMF patients' Con A-induced suppressor cell function to levels (34±6%) that were not significantly (P >0.05) different from the paediatric controls or the healthy adults. The percentage of OKT8+ cells (but not OKT3+ or OKT4+ cells) was significantly (P <0.0001) decreased in 10 untreated FMF patients (16.0±0.9) as compared to 10 paediatric controls (27.6±2) or 10 healthy adults (25.7±0.6). The 10 untreated FMF patients had a significant (P <0.002) increase in the OKT4/OKT8 ratio (2.41±0.13) as compared to 10 FMF patients treated with 0.5 mg twice daily of colchicine (1.81±0.08), 10 pediatric controls (1.47±0.2), or 10 healthy adults (1.78±0.11). Colchicine appears to have corrected the FMF patients' elevated OKT4/OKT8 ratio by both decreasing the percentage of OKT4+ cells and increasing (but only partially correcting) the percentage of OKT8+ cells. Thus, FMF patients have a suppressor cell deficiency in which colchicine treatment corrects their deficiency of Con A-induced suppressor cell function and their elevated OKT4/OKT8 ratio. This raises the possibility that colchicine might be potentially useful as an immunomodulating drug in treating patients with autoimmune or allergic diseases associated with a suppressor cell deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume54
Issue number1
StatePublished - 4 Nov 1983

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