Induction and effector functions of T(H)17 cells

Nature. 2008 Jun 19;453(7198):1051-7. doi: 10.1038/nature07036.


T helper (T(H)) cells constitute an important arm of the adaptive immune system because they coordinate defence against specific pathogens, and their unique cytokines and effector functions mediate different types of tissue inflammation. The recently discovered T(H)17 cells, the third subset of effector T helper cells, have been the subject of intense research aimed at understanding their role in immunity and disease. Here we review emerging data suggesting that T(H)17 cells have an important role in host defence against specific pathogens and are potent inducers of autoimmunity and tissue inflammation. In addition, the differentiation factors responsible for their generation have revealed an interesting reciprocal relationship with regulatory T (T(reg)) cells, which prevent tissue inflammation and mediate self-tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-17
  • Transcription Factors