Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 24;106(12):4793-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900408106. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Identification of IL-17-producing FOXP3+ regulatory T cells in humans.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, Center for Cancer Immunology Research, The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


IL-17-producing CD4(+) T helper (Th17) cells have recently been defined as a unique subset of proinflammatory helper cells whose development depends on signaling initiated by IL-6 and TGF-beta, autocrine activity of IL-21, activation of STAT3, and induction of the orphan nuclear receptor RORgammat. The maintenance, expansion, and further differentiation of the committed Th17 cells depend on IL-1beta and IL-23. IL-17 was originally found produced by circulating human CD45RO(+) memory T cells. A recent study found that human Th17 memory cells selectively express high levels of CCR6. In this study, we report that human peripheral blood and lymphoid tissue contain a significant number of CD4(+)FOXP3(+) T cells that express CCR6 and have the capacity to produce IL-17 upon activation. These cells coexpress FOXP3 and RORgammat transcription factors. The CD4(+)FOXP3(+)CCR6(+) IL-17-producing cells strongly inhibit the proliferation of CD4(+) responder T cells. CD4(+)CD25(high)-derived T-cell clones express FOXP3, RORgammat, and IL-17 and maintain their suppressive function via a cell-cell contact mechanism. We further show that human CD4(+)FOXP3(+)CCR6(-) regulatory T (Treg) cells differentiate into IL-17 producer cells upon T-cell receptor stimulation in the presence of IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-21, IL-23, and human serum. This, together with the finding that human thymus does not contain IL-17-producing Treg cells, suggests that the IL-17(+)FOXP3(+) Treg cells are generated in the periphery. IL-17-producing Treg cells may play critical roles in antimicrobial defense, while controlling autoimmunity and inflammation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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