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J Autoimmun. 2008 Nov;31(3):252-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2008.04.017. Epub 2008 May 27.

Role of Th1 and Th17 cells in organ-specific autoimmunity.

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  • 1Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


CD4(+) IFN-gamma-producing Th1 cells have long been associated with the pathogenesis of many organ-specific autoimmune diseases; however, the observation of disease in mice deficient in molecules involved in Th1 cell differentiation raised the possibility that other effector T cells were responsible for inducing autoimmunity. Recently, a new CD4(+) effector T cell subset that produces IL-17 (Th17) has emerged. The fact that Th17 cells are highly auto-pathogenic has fueled a debate as to what role, if any, Th1 cells play in the induction of tissue inflammation and autoimmune disease. This review will discuss the respective roles of the Th1 and Th17 subsets in organ-specific autoimmunity.

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