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Immunity. 2002 Sep;17(3):375-87.

Antigen-specific T cell sensitization is impaired in IL-17-deficient mice, causing suppression of allergic cellular and humoral responses.

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  • 1Center for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a proinflammatory cytokine produced by T cells. The involvement of IL-17 in human diseases has been suspected because of its detection in sera from asthmatic patients and synovial fluids from arthritic patients. In this study, we generated IL-17-deficient mice and investigated the role of IL-17 in various disease models. We found that contact, delayed-type, and airway hypersensitivity responses, as well as T-dependent antibody production, were significantly reduced in the mutant mice, while IL-17 deficiency of donor T cells did not affect acute graft-versus-host reaction. The results suggest that impaired responses were caused by the defects of allergen-specific T cell activation. Our findings indicate that IL-17 plays an important role in activating T cells in allergen-specific T cell-mediated immune responses.

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