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J Immunol. 2008 Feb 1;180(3):1962-70.

Distinct, specific IL-17- and IL-22-producing CD4+ T cell subsets contribute to the human anti-mycobacterial immune response.

Author information

  • 1South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Observatory, South Africa. thomas.scriba@uct.ac.za

Abstract

We investigated whether the proinflammatory T cell cytokines IL-17 and IL-22 are induced by human mycobacterial infection. Remarkably, >20% of specific cytokine-producing CD4(+) T cells in peripheral blood of healthy, mycobacteria-exposed adults expressed IL-17 or IL-22. Specific IL-17- and IL-22-producing CD4(+) T cells were distinct from each other and from Th1 cytokine-producing cells. These cells had phenotypic characteristics of long-lived central memory cells. In patients with tuberculosis disease, peripheral blood frequencies of these cells were reduced, whereas bronchoalveolar lavage fluid contained higher levels of IL-22 protein compared with healthy controls. IL-17 was not detected in this fluid, which may be due to suppression by Th1 cytokines, as PBMC IL-17 production was inhibited by IFN-gamma in vitro. However, Th1 cytokines had no effect on IL-22 production in vitro. Our results imply that the magnitude and complexity of the anti-mycobacterial immune response have historically been underestimated. IL-17- and IL-22-producing CD4(+) T cells may play important roles in the human immune response to mycobacteria.

PMID:
18209095
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2219462
Free PMC Article

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