Interleukin-17-producing T cells in lupus

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2010 Sep;22(5):499-503. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32833c62b0.


Purpose of review: Interleukin-17 (IL-17) has emerged as a key cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. In this article, we review recently produced evidence obtained in patients and murine models of lupus that link increased IL-17 production with lupus pathology and discuss the potential roles IL-17 may play in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Recent findings: IL-17 may promote autoantibody production and IL-17-producing cells are found in afflicted organs in humans and lupus-prone mice. TH17 and CD3+CD4-CD8- cells are expanded in systemic lupus erythematosus patients and account for the increased production of IL-17. Genetic silencing of genes involved in the increased production of IL-17 in lupus-prone mice as well as treatment of mice with lupus using biologic agents that result in decreased IL-17 production leads invariably to disease mitigation.

Summary: The presented evidence strongly argues for the introduction of IL-17-suppressing biologics in the treatment of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Interleukin-17