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Cell Mol Immunol. 2018 Mar;15(3):216-225. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2017.128. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

The crucial roles of Th17-related cytokines/signal pathways in M. tuberculosis infection.

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Unit of Anti-tuberculosis Immunity, CAS Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Center for Primate Biomedical Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Interleukin-17 (IL-17), IL-21, IL-22 and IL-23 can be grouped as T helper 17 (Th17)-related cytokines because they are either produced by Th17/Th22 cells or involved in their development. Here, we review Th17-related cytokines/Th17-like cells, networks/signals and their roles in immune responses or immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Published studies suggest that Th17-related cytokine pathways may be manipulated by Mtb microorganisms for their survival benefits in primary tuberculosis (TB). In addition, there is evidence that immune responses of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signal pathway and Th17-like T-cell subsets are dysregulated or destroyed in patients with TB. Furthermore, Mtb infection can impact upstream cytokines in the STAT3 pathway of Th17-like responses. Based on these findings, we discuss the need for future studies and the rationale for targeting Th17-related cytokines/signals as a potential adjunctive treatment.

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