Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 2008 Jun 1;180(11):7097-101.

Cutting edge: IL-21 is not essential for Th17 differentiation or experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


Recent studies have suggested that IL-21 is a key factor in the development of IL-17-producing CD4 T cells (Th17) and that the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which depends on mounting an efficient Th17 response, is reportedly impaired in the absence of IL-21 signaling. In this study, we provide supportive in vitro evidence that IL-21 can drive Th17 responses in conjunction with TGF-beta. However, more importantly we also demonstrate, using IL-21- and IL-21R-deficient mice, that IL-21 is not essential for the differentiation of Th17 cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we show that IL-21- and IL-21R-deficient mice are highly susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis with disease scores that were comparable, or even higher at the peak of disease, to those of control mice. Thus, our results challenge the notion that IL-21 is a key factor in driving Th17 immunity and disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk