Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Jan;64(1):110-20. doi: 10.1002/art.33321.

Proinflammatory Th17 cells are expanded and induced by dendritic cells in spondylarthritis-prone HLA-B27-transgenic rats.

Author information

Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, CNRS (UMR 8104), and INSERM U1016, Paris, France.



HLA-B27/human β2-microglobulin-transgenic (B27-transgenic) rats, a model of spondylarthritis (SpA), develop spontaneous colitis and arthritis under conventional conditions. CD4+ T cells are pivotal in the development of inflammation in B27-transgenic rats. This study was undertaken to characterize the phenotype of CD4+ T cells in this model and to determine whether dendritic cells (DCs) induce proinflammatory T cells.


The phenotype of CD4+ T cells from rat lymph nodes (LNs) draining the sites of inflammation was analyzed by flow cytometry. Immunostaining was used to detect interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing cells in the rat joints. DCs from B27-transgenic or control rats (transgenic for HLA-B7 or nontransgenic) were cocultured with control CD4+ T cells and stimulated with anti-T cell receptor α/β.


IL-17A- and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-producing CD4+ T cells were expanded in mesenteric and popliteal LNs from B27-transgenic rats. The accumulation of Th17 cells correlated with disease development, in contrast to Th1 or Treg cells. IL-17-positive mononuclear cells were detected in the arthritic joints of B27-transgenic rats but not in the joints of control rats. Finally, in vitro cocultures demonstrated that Th17 cells were preferentially induced and expanded by DCs from B27-transgenic rats, by a process that may involve defective engagement of costimulatory molecules.


Our findings indicate that expanded CD4+ T cells in B27-transgenic rats exhibit a proinflammatory Th17 phenotype characterized by IL-17A and TNFα production. Furthermore, this population is preferentially induced by DCs from B27-transgenic rats. These data point toward an induction of Th17 cells as a possible pathogenic mechanism in this model of SpA. However, their pathogenic role still needs to be shown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center