Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22184726
J. Immunol. 2012 Feb;188(3):981-91
By revisiting CD90, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein, we show that CD90 is expressed by a subset of CD4(+) and CD8(+) human T cells. CD4(+)CD90(+) cells share similarities with Th17 cells because they express the Th17-specific transcription factor RORC2 and produce IL-17A. CD4(+)CD90(+) cells are activated memory T cells that express the gut mucosal markers CCR6, CD161, and the α(4) and β(7) integrins. Compared with CD90-depleted CCR6(+) memory Th17 cells, CD4(+)CD90(+) cells express higher levels of IL-22 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α and GM-CSF), but they produce lower levels of IL-21 and no IL-9. Analyses of CD8(+)CD90(+) cells reveal that they express RORC2 and are able to produce higher levels of IL-17A, IL-22, and CCL20 compared with CD90-depleted CD8(+) cells. These data show that CD90 identifies Th17 and Tc17 cells with a peculiar cytokine profile. Studies of circulating CD90(+) cells in HIV patients show that CD90(+) cells are decreased with an imbalance of the CD4(+)CD90(+)/regulatory T cell ratio in nontreated patients compared with treated patients and healthy donors. Overall, human CD90 identifies a subset of Th17 and Tc17 cells within CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, respectively, which are depleted during HIV infection.