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To explore the distribution of different subsets of monocyte in peripheral blood of patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO).
A cross-sectional study was performed.Fifty-nine TAO patients and 30 healthy subjects were recruited continuously in Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center from January 2017 to December 2019.Clinical data of subjects were recorded, and the severity and activity of TAO were graded based on the criteria of NOSPECS and CAS.TAO patients were grouped according to clinical activity of TAO, and the patients were treated by triamcinolone acetonide (TA) injection or methylprednisolone pulse therapy (MPT) accordingly.Peripheral blood of the subjects was collected and monocytes were isolated.The proportion of different monocyte subsets was assayed by a flow cytometry.The differences in distribution of monocyte subsets between TAO group and normal control group, stable TAO group and active TAO group, TA injected group and MPT treated group were compared and analyzed.The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-Sen University (No.2014MEKY005), and the written informed consent was obtained from each subject before any medical intervention.
The proportion of classical monocyte (CMo) subset in TAO group was (81.77%±5.53)%, which was significantly lower than (84.35±5.83)% in the normal control group (P=0.034); the proportion of intermediate monocyte (IMo) subset in the TAO group was (10.17±4.19)%, which was significantly higher than (7.69±4.09)% in the normal control group (P=0.006); no significant difference was found in the proportion of non-classical monocyte (NMo) subset between the two groups (P=0.892). The proportion of CMo subset in the active TAO group was (77.29±5.80)%, which was significantly lower than (82.64±5.03)% in the stable TAO group (P<0.01), and the proportion of IMo subset in the active TAO group was (13.79±4.82)%, which was significantly higher than (9.20±3.56)% in the stable TAO group (P<0.01); no significant change was found in the proportion of NMo subset between the two groups (P=0.283). There was no difference in the proportion of different TAO subsets before and after TA injection (P>0.05). In MPT treated group, the proportion of CMo subset in TAO patients was significantly increased and the proportion of IMo subset was significantly decreased (both at P<0.05); there was no significant difference in proportion of NMo subset before and after MPT treatment (P=0.187).
IMo subset is enriched in patients with TAO, and the IMo subset content varies over the disease activity.MPT may inhibit the shift of CMo subset towards IMo subset.