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J Immunol. 2007 Feb 1;178(3):1372-8.

Kinetics and organ distribution of IL-17-producing CD4 cells in proteolipid protein 139-151 peptide-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis of SJL mice.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the production of proinflammatory cytokines by neuroantigen-specific T cells is thought to initiate and maintain the inflammatory autoimmune pathology. Because gene knockout strategies have shown that IFN-gamma and TNF are not essential for EAE development, there is increasing interest in establishing the role of other proinflammatory cytokines, primarily IL-17 in EAE. We used an IL-17 ELISPOT assay to track the neuroantigen-specific IL-17-producing T cells at single-cell resolution in various organs of SJL mice undergoing PLP 139-151-induced EAE. Overall, the migration patterns and population kinetics of the PLP 139-151-specific IL-17-producing CD4 cells were reminiscent of the IFN-gamma-producing cells, with the exception of IL-17 producers far outnumbering the IFN-gamma and IL-2 producers in the inflamed CNS. The selective enrichment of IL-17-producing CD4 cells in the CNS is suggestive of the pathogenic role of an independent (non-Th1) IL-17-producing proinflammatory effector T cell class in EAE.

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