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Evaluation of the effects of vitamin D on the regulatory t cells and Th17 lymphocytes in patients with Systemic Sclerosis

Grant number: 15/11576-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal researcher:Cristiane Kayser
Grantee:Mayara Teixeira de Almeida
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


System sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease of unknown etiology. It is characterized by inflammatory, fibrotic and atrophic changes, affecting the skin, internal organs and musculoskeletal system, particularly the heart, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Immunological abnormalities characterized by changes in the balance sheet between Th1/Th2 lymphocytes and between regulatory T cell (Treg) and Th17 levels are pointed out as possible factors involved in the pathogenesis of SSc. The 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, a metabolite of vitamin D, has been shown as a factor that actively participates in the differentiation of T cells, Th17 and Treg subsets. Objective: To evaluate the effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3 at different concentrations on the proportion of Treg and Th17 CD4 + T lymphocytes of patients with SSc. In addition, we intend to evaluate the proportion of Treg (CD4+ CD25+Foxp3+Helios+) and Th17 lymphocytes (CD3+CD4+CCR6+IL17+) in peripheral blood of patients with SSc compared to controls. Patients and methods: Twenty patients with SSc according to the ACR/EULAR classification criteria of 2013 and 20 healthy controls matched for age and sex will be selected. The proportion of Th17 cells which produce IL17 (CD3+CD4+CCR6 IL17+) and the proportion of Treg cells (CD4+ CD25+Foxp3+Helios+) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells will be evaluated using flow cytometry in cultures at different times after stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate and ionomicia. The ratio of Treg and Th17 cells CD4 + T cells will be evaluated after culture with different concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Results: The study aims to clarify methodological issues related to the proportion of Th17 and Treg lymphocytes at different times of cultures and to originally evaluate the role of different concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on the proportion of Th17 and Treg cells. These findings will contribute to the development of new therapies for the SSc. It will also allow the improvement and the first contact of the student with the scientific research, encouraging her to develop future projects.

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