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J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Oct 30;215(1-2):10-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.07.007. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Encephalitogenic T cells that stably express both T-bet and ROR gamma t consistently produce IFNgamma but have a spectrum of IL-17 profiles.

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  • 1Dept. of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. sara.abromson.leeman@gmail.com


Th1/Th17 cells, secreting both IFNgamma and IL-17, are often associated with inflammatory pathology. We cloned and studied the cytokine phenotypes of MBP-specific, TCR-identical encephalitogenic CD4+ cells in relationship to Th1- and Th17-associated transcription factors T-bet and RORgammat. IFNgamma-producing cells could be sub-divided into those that are T-bet(+)/RORgammat(-) and those that are T-bet(+)/RORgammat(+). The latter comprises a spectrum of phenotypes, as defined by IL-17 production, and can be induced to up-regulate IL-23R with IL-12 or IL-23. The former, bona fide Th1 cells, lack IL-23R expression under all conditions. In vivo, T-bet(+)/RORgammat(-) and T-bet(+)/RORgammat(+) clones induce EAE equally well.

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