European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 242, Issue 7, pp 1141–1148 | Cite as

Coffee suppresses the differentiation of Th17 cells by inhibiting interleukin-6-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3

  • Yoshihiro OkamotoEmail author
  • Takazumi Hara
  • Asuka Itayama
  • Konomi Koike
Original Paper


Coffee is a commonly consumed beverage with potential health benefits. The consumption of coffee has been suggested to have beneficial effects on subclinical inflammation. T helper 17 (Th17) cells, which secrete IL-17, promote protective immunity against extracellular bacteria and fungi, mainly at mucosal surfaces. These cells also promote autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In the present study, we demonstrated for the first time that coffee suppressed IL-6 plus transforming growth factor-beta-induced Th17 differentiation in vitro. Coffee also inhibited the IL-6-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, a cytokine-activated essential transcription factor in Th17 development. In order to determine whether daily coffee consumption affected the population of IL-17-producing cells in vivo, healthy mice were provided with 10 g/l coffee or decaffeinated coffee solution for 14 days. The frequency of IL-17-producing cells in both coffee and decaffeinated coffee drinking mice decreased slightly. These results suggest that the suppressive effects of coffee on Th17 differentiation may be useful for controlling unbalanced cytokine networks in autoimmune diseases.


Coffee Interleukin-17 (IL-17) Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) Th17 cell 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial supports rendered by the All Japan Coffee Association.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

The experiments described in this study comply with the institutional ethical guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals of Chiba Institute of Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihiro Okamoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takazumi Hara
    • 1
  • Asuka Itayama
    • 1
  • Konomi Koike
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of PharmacyChiba Institute of ScienceChoshiJapan

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