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J Immunol. 2007 Jun 1;178(11):6730-3.

Cutting edge: Th17 and regulatory T cell dynamics and the regulation by IL-2 in the tumor microenvironment.

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Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Th17 cells play an active role in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. However, the nature and regulation of Th17 in the context of tumor immunity remain unknown. In this study, we show that parallel to regulatory T (Treg) cells, IL-17(+) CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells are kinetically induced in multiple tumor microenvironments in mice and humans. Treg cells play a crucial role in tumor immune pathogenesis and temper immune therapeutic efficacy. IL-2 is crucial for the production and function of Treg cells. We now show that IL-2 reduces IL-17(+) T cell differentiation in the tumor microenvironment accompanied with an enhanced Treg cell compartment in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our work demonstrates a dynamic differentiation of IL-17(+) T cells in the tumor microenvironment, reveals a novel role for IL-2 in controlling the balance between IL-17(+) and Treg cells, and provides new insight of IL-17(+) T cells in tumor immune pathology and therapy.

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