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The function of interleukin 17 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

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Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis Aims and scope


Interleukin (IL)-17 is a 30- to 35-kDa homodimeric polypeptide cytokine cloned in 1993 and originally named cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-8 (CTLA-8). Sequencing the human genome resulted in the discovery of an additional five members of the IL-17 family that were consecutively named IL-17B to IL-17F. IL-17A is exclusively produced by a newly identified CD4+ T-helper subset that was recently named Th17. Differentiation of these cells from naïve CD4+ T cells requires both TGF-β and IL-6. IL-15 and, especially, IL-23 are required for these cells’s survival and efficient IL-17 production. IL-17 binding to an IL-17 receptor expressed on epithelial, endothelial, and fibroblastic stromal cells triggers the activation of transcription factor NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-38), which in turn results in the secretion of IL-1, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, or prostaglandin E2. The IL-17 family plays a key role in the regulation of immune and inflammatory response, in the homeostasis of several tissues, and the progression of autoimmune diseases. In addition, IL-17 exerts synergistic effects with TNF-α and IL-1 in the induction of joint inflammation and cartilage and joint destruction. Given these properties, it is not surprising that in certain pathological conditions, for example rheumatoid arthritis, Th17 cells emerge as a new pathological cell type that, by IL-17 production and release, contributes to their pathogeneses.

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Correspondence to Agnieszka Paradowska.

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Paradowska, A., Maśliński, W., Grzybowska-Kowalczyk, A. et al. The function of interleukin 17 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp. 55, 329–334 (2007).

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