Immune regulatory dysfunction, circulating immune complexes (CIC), and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell migration were investigated in patients with Behçet's syndrome. Six patients meeting rigorous clinical criteria were evaluated. Only one patient showed evidence of immune regulatory dysfunction (increased T4/T8 ratio). Although Clq binding and Raji cell assays for CIC yielded positive results in only one of five patients, all five patients had in vivo “histamine trap test” evidence of CIC (all controls had normal results). Sera from all Behçet's syndrome patients increased migration of neutrophils to zymosan-activated serum. Colchicine therapy abolished the enhancing effect of the patient's sera on movement of PMN cells from patients and controls. An immune complex-mediated injury that is followed by an excessive accumulation of PMN cells may lead to the cutaneous lesions and other lesions in Behçet's syndrome. Further evaluation of colchicine therapy is warranted on the basis of these studies.
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