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J Immunol. 2013 Feb 15;190(4):1778-87. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202495. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

IL-23-independent induction of IL-17 from γδT cells and innate lymphoid cells promotes experimental intraocular neovascularization.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a characteristic of age-related macular degeneration. Genome-wide association studies have provided evidence that the immune system is involved in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration; however, the role of inflammatory cytokines in CNV has not been established. In this study, we demonstrated that IL-17 had a strong potential for promoting neovascularization in a vascular endothelial growth factor-independent manner in laser-induced experimental CNV in mice. Infiltrated γδT cells and Thy-1(+) innate lymphoid cells, but not Th17 cells, were the main sources of IL-17 in injured eyes. IL-23 was dispensable for IL-17 induction in the eye. Instead, we found that IL-1β and high-mobility group box 1 strongly promoted IL-17 expression by γδT cells. Suppression of IL-1β and high-mobility group box 1, as well as depletion of γδT cells, reduced IL-17 levels and ameliorated experimental CNV. Our findings suggest the existence of a novel inflammatory cytokine network that promotes neovascularization in the eye.

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