Th17/Th1 phenotype in demyelinating disease

Cytokine. 2010 Apr;50(1):19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 4.


Background: Th17 cells are thought to contribute to the immunopathology of allergic and autoimmune conditions. Their role in multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology remains to be fully elucidated.

Objective: To assess peripheral blood Th17 responses in patients with MS compared to controls.

Methods: We isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 41 MS patients and 23 healthy controls, which were then stimulated using phorbol ester and ionomycin, labelled for CD3, CD8, CD154, IL-17 and IFN-gamma and analysed using flow cytometry.

Results: Minimal IL-17 was detectable in unstimulated cells. Following stimulation with phorbol ester and ionomycin, PBMCs taken from MS patients in relapse developed a more inflammatory profile than those taken from controls or non-relapse patients, with greater expression of CD154, IL-17 and dual expression of IL-17/IFN-gamma.

Conclusion: We suggest a greater tendency to Th17 and Th1/Th17 response to non-specific stimulation in MS patients in relapse compared to controls and non-relapse patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CD40 Ligand / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Demography
  • Demyelinating Diseases / immunology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Recurrence
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism*
  • Th1 Cells / pathology


  • Interleukin-17
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Interferon-gamma