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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 10;7:41779. doi: 10.1038/srep41779.

IL-17 induces reactive astrocytes and up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through JAK/STAT signaling.

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College of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Department of Orthopaedics, The First Affiliated Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Department of Orthopaedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.


Spinal cord injury is a grave neurological disability resulting in neuron degeneration and permanent paralysis. The inflammation triggered by the injury would promote the spinal cord lesion in turn. Activated astrocytes during inflammatory response could promote glial scar formation and contribute to the progression of the spinal cord injury. Interleukin 17 (IL-17) was upregulated in inflammatory responses to contusion or compression of the spinal cord. in this study, IL-17 could induce reactive astrocytes which was indicated by a well-known hallmark glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we demonstrated that the upregulation of VEGF was induced by IL-17 human astrocytoma cells. In our further investigation, IL-17 induced the expression of VEGF in spinal cord injury by activating JAK/STAT signaling pathway both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we also found that IL-17 significantly changed tissue preservation and residual urine volumes and blood-spinal cord-barrier integrity in vivo. This newly found IL-17-JAK/STAT-VEGF axis improves our understanding of the molecular mechanism of spinal cord injury during inflammatory response and provides another potential target of spinal cord injury.

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