Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS). T helper (Th) 17 lymphocytes play a role in the pathogenesis of MS. Indeed, Th17 cells are abundant in the cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood of MS patients and promote pathogenesis in the mouse model of MS. To gain insight into the function of Th17 cells in MS, we tested whether Th17 cells polarized from naïve CD4 T cells of healthy donors and MS patients display different features. To this end, we analysed several parameters that typify the Th17 profile during the differentiation process of naïve CD4 T cells obtained from relapsing-remitting (RR)-MS patients (n = 31) and healthy donors (HD) (n = 28). Analysis of an array of cytokines produced by Th17 cells revealed that expression of interleukin (IL)-21, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-β, IL-2 and IL-1R1 is significantly increased in Th17 cells derived from MS patients compared to healthy donor-derived cells. Interestingly, IL-1R1 expression is also increased in Th17 cells circulating in the blood of MS patients compared to healthy donors. Since IL-2, IL-21, TNF-β, and IL-1R1 play a crucial role in the activation of immune cells, our data indicate that high expression of these molecules in Th17 cells from MS patients could be related to their high inflammatory status.
- CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology
- Case-Control Studies
- Middle Aged
- Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting/immunology
- Receptors, Interleukin-1 Type I/metabolism
- Th17 Cells/cytology