Frequency and functional activity of Th17, Tc17 and other T-cell subsets in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Cell Immunol. 2010;264(1):97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2010.05.004. Epub 2010 May 11.


To compare frequency and functional activity of peripheral blood (PB) Th(c)17, Th(c)1 and Treg cells and the amount of type 2 cytokines mRNA we recruited SLE patients in active (n=15) and inactive disease (n=19) and healthy age- and gender-matched controls (n=15). The study of Th(c)17, Th(c)1 and Treg cells was done by flow cytometry and cytokine mRNA by real-time PCR. Compared to NC, SLE patients present an increased proportion of Th(c)17 cells, but with lower amounts of IL-17 per cell and also a decreased frequency of Treg, but with increased production of TGF-beta and FoxP3 mRNA. Iotan active compared to inactive SLE, there is a marked decreased in frequency of Th(c)1 cells, an increased production of type 2 cytokines mRNA and a distinct functional profile of Th(c)17 cells. Our findings suggest a functional disequilibrium of T-cell subsets in SLE which may contribute to the inflammatory process and disease pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Separation
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Male
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*
  • Th2 Cells / pathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / biosynthesis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-17
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta