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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2009 Oct;11(5):365-70.

The role of interleukin-17 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-17 (also known as IL-17A), the signature cytokine of the newly described T helper 17 (Th17) cell population, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. IL-17 is the founding member of a new subclass of cytokines that have highly proinflammatory properties. Studies in rodents and mammalian cell culture systems, as well as clinical settings, support a role for IL-17 in promoting rheumatoid arthritis. This article discusses the history of the discovery of Th17 cells, the potential mechanisms of action of IL-17 in autoimmunity, and perspectives for IL-17-targeted cytokine therapy.

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