IL-17 inhibits human Th1 differentiation through IL-12R beta 2 downregulation

Cytokine. 2009 Dec;48(3):226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.07.013. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Th17 cells are critical in adaptive immunity and autoimmune disease. The polarized development of Th17, Th1 and Th2 cells is dependent on counterregulatory effects on each other. Whereas IFN-gamma inhibits Th17 development, the effect of IL-17 in human Th1 development is not known. We report a novel negative regulatory role of IL-17 on IL-12R beta 2 expression associated with reduced IL-12 responsiveness. IL-17 decreased IL-12-induced IFN-gamma expression in PBMC and developing Th1 cells, associated with a selective reduction in IL-12R beta 2, and not IL-23R, IL-12R beta 1 or T-bet. Counterregulatory effects of human Th17 on Th1 lineage cytokines may contribute to lineage divergence. In autoimmune disease, IL-17 may reinforce its own developmental programme by reducing IL-12 responsiveness, thus limiting inhibitory effects of IFN-gamma on Th17 development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12 Receptor beta 2 Subunit / genetics
  • Interleukin-12 Receptor beta 2 Subunit / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-17 / pharmacology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reference Standards
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects*


  • Interleukin-12 Receptor beta 2 Subunit
  • Interleukin-17
  • RNA, Messenger