Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the peripheral nervous system. Th17 and Th1 cells contribute to the pathogenesis of most autoimmune diseases, but little is known about their distribution and reciprocal relationship in CIDP. In this study, we analyzed the distribution of Th17, Th1, and Th17/Th1 cells in the peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The results showed that the frequency of Th17 cells was significantly higher in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) and CSF of active CIDP in comparison with remitting CIDP or to other non-inflammatory neurological diseases (ONDs), accompanied by similar findings for Th17/Th1 cells. Both active and remitting CIDP have higher percentage of Th1 cells in the CSF than OND. CSF protein levels positively correlated with the frequencies of Th17 cells either in the PBMCs or CSF of active CIDP, while there was no significant correlation with Th1 cells. In line with these observations, the levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) in plasma and transcript factors retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor (ROR)γt expressed by PBMCs were significantly higher in the active CIDP than remitting CIDP or OND. In summary, our preliminary findings suggest that elevated numbers of inflammatory T cells, especially for Th17 cells, might be an important determinant in the evolution of CIDP.
© 2010 Peripheral Nerve Society.