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The presence of CD55- and/or CD59-deficient erythrocytic populations in patients with rheumatic diseases reflects an immune-mediated bone-marrow derived phenomenon

John V. Asimakopoulos, Evangelos Terpos, Loula Papageorgiou, Olga Kampouropoulou, Dimitris Christoulas, Anastasios Giakoumis, Michael Samarkos, George Vaiopoulos, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Maria K. Angelopoulou, Theodoros P. Vassilakopoulos, John Meletis

(Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, “Laiko” General Hospital, Athens, Greece)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:123-139

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889727

Background: Complement has the potential to provoke severe impairment to host tissues, as shown in autoimmune diseases where complement activation has been associated with diminished CD55 and/or CD59 expression on peripheral blood cell membranes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of CD55- and/or CD59-deficient erythrocytic populations in patients with different rheumatic diseases and to investigate possible correlations with clinical or laboratory parameters.
Material and Methods: CD55 and CD59 expression was evaluated in erythrocytes of 113 patients with rheumatic diseases, 121 normal individuals, and 10 patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) using the Sephacryl gel microtyping system. Ham and sucrose tests were also performed.
Results: Interestingly, the majority of patients (104/113, 92%) demonstrated CD55- and/or CD59-deficient erythrocytes: 47 (41.6%) with concomitant deficiency of CD55 and CD59, 50 (44.2%) with isolated deficiency of CD55, and 6 (6.2%) with isolated deficiency of CD59. In normal individuals, only 2 (1%) had concomitant CD55/CD59 negativity and 3 (2%) had isolated CD55 or CD59 deficiency. All PNH patients exhibited simultaneous CD55/CD59 deficiency. Positive Ham and sucrose tests were found only in PNH patients. There was no association between the CD55- and/or CD59-deficient erythrocytes and hemocytopenias or undergoing treatment. However, CD55 expression significantly influenced hemoglobin values (F=6.092, p=0.015).
Conclusions: This study provides evidence supporting the presence of erythrocytes with CD55 and/or CD59 deficiency in patients with rheumatic diseases. Moreover, CD55 deficiency on red cells influences hemoglobin concentration. Further studies using molecular techniques will clarify the exact pathophysiological mechanisms of this deficiency.

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