IL17: potential therapeutic target in Sjögren's syndrome using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer

Lab Invest. 2011 Jan;91(1):54-62. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2010.164. Epub 2010 Sep 20.


Sjögren's syndrome (SS) involves a chronic, progressive inflammation primarily of the salivary and lacrimal glands leading to decreased levels of saliva and tears that eventually result in dry mouth and dry eye diseases. T(H)17 cell populations secreting IL17A have been shown to have an important function in an increasing number of autoimmune diseases, including SS. In this study, we investigated the function of IL17A on SS development and onset. Adenovirus-5 vectors expressing either IL17R:fragment of crystallization (Fc) fusion protein or LacZ were injected through retrograde cannulation into the salivary glands of SS-susceptible (SS(S)) C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice between 6 and 8 weeks of age (a pre-disease stage) or 15 and 17 weeks of age (a diseased stage). The mice were subsequently characterized for their SS phenotypes. Mice cannulated with the Ad5-IL17R:Fc viral vector at either 7 or 16 weeks of age exhibited a rapid temporal, yet persistent, decrease in the levels of serum IL17 as well as the overall numbers of CD4+IL17+T cells present in their spleens. Disease profiling indicated that these mice showed decreased lymphocytic infiltrations of their salivary glands, normalization of their antinuclear antibodies repertoire, and increased saliva secretion. In contrast, mice cannulated with the control Ad5-LacZ viral vector did not exhibit similar changes and progressed to the overt disease stage. The capacity of the Ad5-IL17R:Fc-blocking factor to reduce SS pathology in SS(S) mice strongly suggests that IL17 is an important inflammatory cytokine in salivary gland dysfunction. Thus, therapeutic approach targeting IL17 may be effective in preventing glandular dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Salivary Glands / immunology
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / genetics
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17