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Home arrow Environment arrow Inflammatory Disorders of the Nervous System: Pathogenesis, Immunology, and Clinical Management
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Interleukin-17 and Type 17 Helper T Cells

T cells were found to produce cytokines that could not be classified into either the Th1 or Th2 scheme detailed above. Primary among these cytokines is interleukin-17 (IL-17), and the cells that produce IL-17A have been named Th17 cells. Other cytokines produced include IL-17F, IL-21 and IL-22, IL-26, and TNFa. Their important role in the pathogenesis of MS is increasingly recognized [147, 148]. In vitro studies have suggested that Th17 cells can permeate the blood-brain barrier, and elevated levels of IL-17 have been detected both in serum and CSF in some patients with MS [149]. In addition, an increase in IL-17 mRNA has been detected in MS plaques at autopsy [150, 151]. Th17 cells can induce and regulate tissue inflammation. In the setting of chronic inflammation and autoimmunity, initially studied in rheumatoid arthritis, signaling through Th17 receptors induces production of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1, TNF, IL-8, and matrix metalloprotein- ases [147]. A recent study has implicated glutamate excitotoxicity as a possible effector mechanism for inflammation in MS [152]. Studies to elucidate the role of Th17 cells in MS are ongoing. Secukinumab, a selective anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody, is being studied as a potential treatment for MS [153].

 
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