Th17 Cells at the Crossroads of Innate and Adaptive Immunity Against Infectious Diseases at the Mucosa

Mucosal Immunol. 2009 Sep;2(5):403-11. doi: 10.1038/mi.2009.100. Epub 2009 Jul 8.


T helper type 17 (Th17) cells are a distinct lineage of T cells that produce the effector molecules IL-17, IL-17F, IL-21, and IL-22. Although the role of Th17 cells in autoimmunity is well documented, there is growing evidence that the Th17 lineage and other interleukin (IL)-17-producing cells are critical for host defense against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections at mucosal surfaces. Here we summarize recent progress in our understanding of the function of IL-17-producing cells as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity against infectious diseases at the mucosa.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Cooperation / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Immunological
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / deficiency
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • IL17RA protein, human
  • Il17ra protein, mouse
  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha