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J Exp Med. 2014 Jan 13;211(1):89-104. doi: 10.1084/jem.20130301. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Pro-inflammatory human Th17 cells selectively express P-glycoprotein and are refractory to glucocorticoids.

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  • 1Tempero Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 200 Technology Square, Suite 602, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Abstract

IL-17A-expressing CD4(+) T cells (Th17 cells) are generally regarded as key effectors of autoimmune inflammation. However, not all Th17 cells are pro-inflammatory. Pathogenic Th17 cells that induce autoimmunity in mice are distinguished from nonpathogenic Th17 cells by a unique transcriptional signature, including high Il23r expression, and these cells require Il23r for their inflammatory function. In contrast, defining features of human pro-inflammatory Th17 cells are unknown. We show that pro-inflammatory human Th17 cells are restricted to a subset of CCR6(+)CXCR3(hi)CCR4(lo)CCR10(-)CD161(+) cells that transiently express c-Kit and stably express P-glycoprotein (P-gp)/multi-drug resistance type 1 (MDR1). In contrast to MDR1(-) Th1 or Th17 cells, MDR1(+) Th17 cells produce both Th17 (IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22) and Th1 (IFN-γ) cytokines upon TCR stimulation and do not express IL-10 or other anti-inflammatory molecules. These cells also display a transcriptional signature akin to pathogenic mouse Th17 cells and show heightened functional responses to IL-23 stimulation. In vivo, MDR1(+) Th17 cells are enriched and activated in the gut of Crohn's disease patients. Furthermore, MDR1(+) Th17 cells are refractory to several glucocorticoids used to treat clinical autoimmune disease. Thus, MDR1(+) Th17 cells may be important mediators of chronic inflammation, particularly in clinical settings of steroid resistant inflammatory disease.

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PMID:
24395888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3892977
Free PMC Article
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