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J Rheumatol. 2009 Apr;36(4):684-92. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.080169. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Interleukin 17 (IL-17) increases the expression of Toll-like receptor-2, 4, and 9 by increasing IL-1beta and IL-6 production in autoimmune arthritis.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, and Pusan National University Hospital Research Institutes,1-10, Ami-Dong, Seo-Gu, Busan, South Korea.

Erratum in

  • J Rheumatol. 2009 May;36(5):1091.



To examine the effect of interleukin 17 (IL-17) on the expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2, 4, and 9 in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice.


On Days 28 and 32 after induction of CIA in mice, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS group) or IL-17 (IL-17 group) was injected into both knee joints. On Day 35, mice were sacrificed. The severity of knee joint arthritis, synovial inflammation, and bone destruction was measured by a scoring system using macrography and histological analysis. Synovial expression of TLR-2, 4, 9, IL-17, IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and IL-6 was determined by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Synoviocytes of CIA mice were cultured with IL-17 and with neutralizing antibodies to cytokine, and the expression of TLR-2, 4, 9, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 was determined by real-time RT-PCR.


In CIA mice, knee arthritis scores, synovial inflammation, bone destruction scores, and expression of synovial TLR-2, 4, and 9, IL-17, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and IL-6 were higher in the IL-17 and PBS groups than in normal DBA1 mice. These variables were also significantly higher in the IL-17 group than in the PBS group. In CIA synoviocytes, IL-17 increased the expression of TLR-2, 4, and 9, and this effect was significantly alleviated by neutralizing antibodies to IL-17, IL-1beta, and IL-6.


IL-17 aggravates joint inflammation and destruction, and increases the synovial expression of TLR-2, 4, and 9 by increasing IL-1beta and IL-6. These results imply that the IL-17-induced increase in expression of TLR-2, 4, and 9, and IL-1beta and IL-6 production are involved in the IL-17-induced aggravation of arthritis.

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