The role of interleukin-17 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis



Interleukin (IL)-17 (also known as IL-17A), the signature cytokine of the newly described T helper 17 (Th17) cell population, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. IL-17 is the founding member of a new subclass of cytokines that have highly proinflammatory properties. Studies in rodents and mammalian cell culture systems, as well as clinical settings, support a role for IL-17 in promoting rheumatoid arthritis. This article discusses the history of the discovery of Th17 cells, the potential mechanisms of action of IL-17 in autoimmunity, and perspectives for IL-17-targeted cytokine therapy.

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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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