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T lymphocyte and monocyte subsets are dysregulated in type 1 diabetes patients with peripheral neuropathic pain.

Abstract

Diabetic neuropathic pain is a common and devastating complication of type 1 diabetes, but the mechanism by which it develops and persists is yet to be fully elucidated. This study utilised high-dimensional suspension mass cytometry in a pilot cohort to investigate differences in peripheral blood immunophenotypes between type 1 diabetes patients with (n = 9) and without (n = 9) peripheral neuropathic pain. The abundance and activation of several leukocyte subsets were investigated with unsupervised clustering approaches FlowSOM and SPADE, as well as by manual gating. Major findings included a proportional increase in CD4+ central memory T cells and an absolute increase in classical monocytes, non-classical monocytes, and mature natural killer cells in type 1 diabetes patients with pain compared to those without pain. The expression of CD27, CD127, and CD39 was upregulated on select T cell populations, and the phosphorylated form of pro-inflammatory transcription factor MK2 was upregulated across most populations. These results provide evidence that distinct immunological signatures are associated with painful neuropathy in type 1 diabetes patients. Further research may link these changes to mechanisms by which pain in type 1 diabetes is initiated and maintained, paving the way for much needed targeted treatments.

Authors: O'Brien JA, McGuire HM, Shinko D, Fazekas de St Groth B, Russo MA, Bailey D, Santarelli DM, Wynne K, Austin PJ,
Journal: Brain Behav Immun Health;2021Aug; 15 100283. doi:10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100283
Year: 2021
PubMed: PMID: 34589782 (Go to PubMed)