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PLoS One. 2013 May 6;8(5):e62231. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062231. Print 2013.

Neutrophils are essential as a source of IL-17 in the effector phase of arthritis.

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Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2013;8(12). doi:10.1371/annotation/5fedb3bf-c9c2-4862-9ad5-23c8ae484ad5.



Th17 has been shown to have a pivotal role in the development of arthritis. However, the role of IL-17 in the T cell-independent effector phase has not fully been examined. We investigated whether IL-17 is involved in the effector phase of arthritis by using K/BxN serum-induced arthritis model.


K/BxN serum was transferred into IL-17 knockout (KO) mice, SCID mice and their control mice, and arthritis was evaluated over time. In order to clarify the source of IL-17 in the effector phase, neutrophils or CD4+ T cells collected from IL-17 KO or control mice were injected into IL-17 KO recipient mice together with K/BxN serum. To examine if neutrophils secrete IL-17 upon stimulation, neutrophils were stimulated with immune complex in vitro and IL-17 in the supernatant was measured by ELISA.


K/BxN serum-induced arthritis was much less severe in IL-17 KO mice than in WT mice. Since K/BxN serum-transferred SCID mice developed severe arthritis with high serum IL-17 concentration, we speculated neutrophils are the responsible player as an IL-17 source. When wild type (WT) but not IL-17 KO neutrophils were co-injected with K/BxN serum into IL-17 KO mice, arthritis was exacerbated, whereas co-injection of WT CD4+ T cells had no effect. In vitro, stimulation of neutrophils with immune complex caused IL-17 secretion.


Neutrophils are essential as a source of IL-17 in the effector phase of arthritis. The trigger of secreting IL-17 from neutrophils may be immune complex.

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