Scleritis and multiple systemic autoimmune manifestations in chronic natural killer cell lymphocytosis associated with elevated TCRα/ β+CD3+CD4-CD8- double-negative T cells

  • Yeh S
  • Li Z
  • Sen H
 et al. 
  • 5


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 4


    Citations of this article.


Background/aims Chronic natural killer lymphocytosis (CNKL) has been associated with systemic autoimmunity; however, its association with scleritis or ocular autoimmunity has not been characterised. The natural killer (NK) cell function and immunophenotype of a patient with CNKL who developed bilateral scleritis and multiple systemic autoimmune findings were evaluated. Methods The ophthalmic records of a patient with CNKL and scleritis were reviewed over a 6-year period. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate T cell, NK and B cell populations. NK cellular functions (ie, NK cytotoxicity and cytokine/chemokine production following interleukin 2 (IL2) stimulation) were evaluated. Results A 56-year-old woman with vitiligo, psoriatic arthritis, thyroiditis, erythema nodosum, bilateral anterior scleritis and Sjogren syndrome was managed with multiple immunosuppressive medications, including prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil and methotrexate. Flow cytometry showed a persistent elevation of CD56(+)CD3(-) NK cells greater than 40%, which was consistent with CNKL. NK cell cytotoxicity assay identified a deficiency of K562 cell lysis in the patient (1.46 mean-fold greater in control vs patient). NK cytokine/chemokine production following IL2 stimulation was also deficient (2.5-32.5-fold greater in control). Cytokines/chemokines assessed included pro-inflammatory (interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL1, monocyte chemotactic protein 1) and immunoregulatory cytokines (IL4, IL5 and IL10). An abnormal elevation of TCR alpha/beta(+) CD3(+)CD4(-)CD8(-) T cells suggestive of autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome was observed; however, apoptosis dysfunction was not found. Conclusion The association of increased but dysfunctional NK cells in the context of multiple systemic and ocular manifestations suggests a role of NK cells in the pathogenesis of our patient's disease. Further studies regarding NK cell dysfunction and ocular autoimmunity are needed.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free