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Nat Med. 2007 Jun;13(6):711-8. Epub 2007 May 13.

TH17 cells contribute to uveitis and scleritis and are expanded by IL-2 and inhibited by IL-27/STAT1.

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  • 1Molecular Immunology Section, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Abstract

T-helper type 17 cells (T(H)17) are implicated in rodent models of immune-mediated diseases. Here we report their involvement in human uveitis and scleritis, and validate our findings in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU), a model of uveitis. T(H)17 cells were present in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and were expanded by interleukin (IL)-2 and inhibited by interferon (IFN)-gamma. Their numbers increased during active uveitis and scleritis and decreased following treatment. IL-17 was elevated in EAU and upregulated tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in retinal cells, suggesting a mechanism by which T(H)17 may contribute to ocular pathology. Furthermore, IL-27 was constitutively expressed in retinal ganglion and photoreceptor cells, was upregulated by IFN-gamma and inhibited proliferation of T(H)17. These findings suggest that T(H)1 cells may mitigate uveitis by antagonizing the T(H)17 phenotype through the IFN-gamma-mediated induction of IL-27 in target tissue. The finding that IL-2 promotes T(H)17 expansion provides explanations for the efficacy of IL-2R antibody therapy in uveitis, and suggests that antagonism of T(H)17 by IFN-gamma and/or IL-27 could be used for the treatment of chronic inflammation.

PMID:
17496900
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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