The role of the Th17 cytokines IL-17 and IL-22 in Rheumatoid Arthritis pathogenesis and developments in cytokine immunotherapy
SourceCytokine, 74, 1, (2015), pp. 101-107
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Over the past few years, the importance of Interleukin (IL)-17 and T helper (Th)17 cells in the pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) has become apparent. RA is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects up to 1% of the population worldwide. It is characterized by an inflamed, hyperplastic synovium with pannus formation, leading to bone and cartilage destruction in the joints. By the production of effector cytokines like IL-17 and IL-22, the T helper 17 subset protects the host against bacterial and fungal infections, but it can also promote the development of various autoimmune diseases like RA. Hence, the Th17 pathway recently became a very interesting target in RA treatment. Up to now, several therapies targeting the Th17 cells or its effector cytokines have been tested, or are currently under investigation. This review clarifies the role of Th17 cells and its cytokines in the pathogenesis of RA, and provides an overview of the clinical trials using immunotherapy to target this particular T helper subset or the two main effector cytokines by which the Th17 cells exert their function, IL-17 and IL-22.
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