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Clin Immunol. 2011 Jun;139(3):314-20. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2011.02.018. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Th17/Treg imbalance in adult patients with minimal change nephrotic syndrome.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital,Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


To determine whether Th17/Treg balance was abnormal in adult patients with minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS), we studied 25 patients with new-onset MCNS and 20 normal persons. The results showed that MCNS patients exhibited a significant increase in Th17 number, Th17-related cytokines (IL-17 and IL-23), and transcription factor (RORγt) levels, as well as an obvious decrease in Treg number, Treg-related cytokines (TGF-β1 and IL-10), and transcription factor (Foxp3) levels. The Th17/Treg ratios increased along with increased proteinuria and decreased albumin levels in patients with MCNS. IL-17 protein expression was also detected in the renal biopsy tissue of MCNS patients, particularly in patients with acute renal failure. Further, Th17/Treg balance returned to normal after effective corticosteroids therapy in 16 MCNS patients. These results indicated that Th17/Treg imbalance existed in MCNS patients, suggesting a potential role of Th17/Treg imbalance in the pathogenesis of MCNS.

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