Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the systemic exocrine
glands, such as salivary and lacrimal glands. A variety of T-cell subpopulations maintain immune
tolerance in the thymus and periphery through complex immune responses including cellular
and humoral immunity. The T-cell subpopulations exhibiting abnormal or unique phenotypes and
impaired functionality have been reported to play important roles in the cellular mechanisms of
autoimmunity in SS patients and animal models of SS. In this review, we focused on follicular
helper T cells related to antibody production and regulatory T cells to control immune tolerance in
the pathogenesis of SS. The unique roles of these T-cell subpopulations in the process of the onset
or development of SS have been demonstrated in this review of recent publications. The clinical
application of these T-cell subpopulations will be helpful for the development of new techniques
for diagnosis or treatment of SS in the future.
Keywords: Autoimmunity, follicular helper T cell, regulatory T cell, Sjogren`s syndrome, phenotypes, exocrine.
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