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Clin Exp Immunol. 2016 Dec;186(3):277-283. doi: 10.1111/cei.12853. Epub 2016 Oct 21.

Interleukin (IL)-9/IL-9R axis drives γδ T cells activation in psoriatic arthritis patients.

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Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Sezione di Reumatologia, Università degli Studi di Palermo.
Central Laboratory of Advanced Diagnosis and Biomedical Research (CLADIBIOR).
Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università di Palermo.
Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Applicate e Biotecnologiche, Sezione di Reumatologia, Università di L'Aquila, Italy.
UMR 563, Hospital Purpan, Department of Oncology, INSERM, Toulouse, France.


Cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-23 and, more recently, IL-9, have been implicated in the initiation/maintenance of inflammation in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). In the present study we aimed to characterize the role of γδ T cells in peripheral blood and synovial fluid of PsA patients and to investigate their response to in-vitro stimulation with antigen or cytokines (IL-9 and IL-23). γδ T cells isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and synovial fluid were analysed by flow cytometry to evaluate the phenotype and cytokine production. IL-23R and IL-9R gene expression were also evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), sorted γδ T cells and γδ cell lines were also stimulated in vitro with isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), recombinant IL-9 or recombinant IL-23. Our results show an expansion of γδ T cells with a predominant effector memory phenotype in peripheral blood and synovium of untreated PsA patients, which reverses significantly after treatment with anti-TNF-α or anti-IL-12/IL-23R monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Moreover, in PsA patients γδ T cells activation is driven prevalently by IL-9/IL-9R interaction, and not only by IL-23/IL-23R. Together these findings indicate γδ T cells and IL-9 as new players in the pathogenesis of PsA.


IL-9; IL-9R; psoriatic arthritis; γδ-T cells

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