1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25D3), the active form of vitamin D(3), is an immunoregulatory hormone with beneficial effects on Th1 cell-mediated inflammatory diseases. Although IL-17-producing CD4(+) T helper (Th17) cells have been recently identified as novel effector cells, the immunomodulating effects of 1,25D3 on Th17 cells have not been well defined. We confirmed here that 1,25D3 inhibited the generation of Th17 cells in vitro. Interestingly, 1,25D3 synergistically suppressed the generation of Th17 cells by the combination with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). 1,25D3 and ATRA suppressed the development of allergen-induced contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in a mouse ear swelling model. In addition, we found that 1,25D3 and ATRA significantly inhibited the development of human Th17 cells from both naïve and memory human CD4(+) T cells. 1,25D3 and ATRA effectively suppressed mRNA expressions of IL-1R1, IL-21R, IL-23R, RORC, and AHR in human T cells. ATRA further suppressed IL-6R, whereas 1,25D3 did not. Finally, we found that 1,25D3 and ATRA remarkably blocked IL-22 as well as IL-17 mRNA expression in human memory CD4(+) T cells. Thus, we initially reveal that 1,25D3 and ATRA have synergistic effects on the generation of Th17 cells, suggesting that the combination with ATRA would provide a promising novel therapy for Th17 cell-related immune diseases including skin inflammation.
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