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Semin Immunol. 2007 Dec;19(6):409-17. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Transcriptional regulation of Th17 cell differentiation.

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  • 1The Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and New York, NY 10016, United States.


The paradigm of effector T helper cell differentiation into either Th1 or Th2 lineages has been profoundly shaken by the discovery of T cells that secrete IL-17 and other inflammatory cytokines. This subset, referred to as Th17, is centrally involved in autoimmune disease and is important in host defense at mucosal surfaces. In mouse, a series of cytokines, including IL-6, IL-21, IL-23, and TGF-beta, function sequentially or synergistically to induce the Th17 lineage. Other cytokines, including IL-2, IL-4, IFNgamma, and IL-27, inhibit differentiation of this lineage. Here we review how the nuclear orphan receptor RORgammat functions to coordinate the diverse cytokine-induced signals and thus controls Th17 cell differentiation.

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