IL-17A and IL-17F expression in B lymphocytes

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2012;157(4):406-16. doi: 10.1159/000329527. Epub 2011 Nov 25.


Background: Recent evidence suggests that cells other than Th-17 lymphocytes express interleukin (IL)-17A and IL-17F and contribute to the production of these cytokines in immunologically mediated diseases. B lymphocytes are known to be an important source of cytokines in chronic inflammatory diseases. We therefore investigated the potential of human B lymphocytes to produce IL-17A and IL-17F.

Methods: Highly purified B cells were obtained using a multiple-step separation procedure which included rosette depletion, adherence depletion, CD3+ cell magnetic activated depletion and CD19+ magnetic activated positive cell selection. In these CD19+ B cell fractions, CD3+/CD4+ and CD14+ cells were negligible (<0.2%), and CD8 and CD161 mRNAs were undetectable. The CD19+/CD20+ B cells were stimulated with IL-4, interferon-γ, IL-6, IL-23 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and the expression of IL-17A and IL-17F in response to stimulation was determined by quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, Western blot, immunocytochemistry and ELISA.

Results: Evidence of expression of IL-17A and IL-17F in purified B cells was obtained using RT-PCR, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, Western immunoblotting and ELISA. Stimulation of B cells with IL-6, IL-23 or TGF-β upregulated the expression of both IL-17A and F cytokines.

Conclusions: These novel findings provide evidence that cytokine-stimulated B lymphocytes could be a significant source of IL-17A and IL-17F and support the notion that these cells actively participate in immune responses via alternative mechanisms in addition to the classic release of antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunomagnetic Separation
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Palatine Tonsil / pathology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-17