IL-17 production by γδ T cells is important for the antitumor effect of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin treatment against bladder cancer

Eur J Immunol. 2011 Jan;41(1):246-51. doi: 10.1002/eji.201040773. Epub 2010 Dec 9.


Intravesical inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been used for the treatment of bladder cancer. Recent studies implied the requirement of neutrophil infiltration for the antitumor effect. In this study, we found that IL-17 was produced in the bladder after BCG treatment, preceding the infiltration of neutrophils. Neutrophils in the bladder after BCG treatment were reduced in IL-17-deficient mice, in which BCG-induced antitumor effect against intravesically inoculated bladder cancer was abolished. Notably, the level of IL-17 production and the number of neutrophils in BCG-treated bladder was reduced in γδ T-cell-deficient mice but not in CD4-depleted mice. Survival of bladder cancer-inoculated γδ T-cell-deficient mice was not improved by BCG treatment. These results suggest that IL-17-producing γδ T cells play a key role in the BCG-induced recruitment of neutrophils to the bladder, which is essential for the antitumor activity against bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mycobacterium bovis / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta