Published online Nov 12, 2013. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v3.i3.25
Revised: September 23, 2013
Accepted: October 17, 2013
Published online: November 12, 2013
Since early description of CD4/CD8 T cell duality, continuous discovery of functional T lymphocyte subsets and their related cytokines constitutes major progress in our understanding of the immune response. T-lymphocyte derived lymphokines and environmental cytokines are essential for both innate and antigen-specific immune responses to a wide variety of agents. Following immune battle and aggression overcome, cytokines may return against neighbored cells/organs, causing pathogenic hypersensitivity reactions, including autoimmune diseases. Due to their cytokine production, CD4+ T helper lymphocyte subsets may be considered as one the major players of the immune response. Among CD4+ T cell subsets, the identification of interleukin-17-producing cells (Th17) led to better understanding of coordinated cytokine involvement during inflammatory reactions together with the subsequent clarification of complex interactions between these mediators. In this review, we discuss Th17 cell differentiation, functions, and the role of this cell subset during rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis together with therapeutic strategies to control these cells.
Core tip: identification of interleukin-17-producing cells (Th17) rise as important source of inflammatory cytokines, IL-17 in particular, with critical role during inflammatory diseases.In this paper, we reviewed the differentiation of these cells from naive lymphocytes, their role during inflammatory arthritis and therapeutic tools to control these cells.