Secretion of interleukin-17 by CD8+ T cells expressing CD146 (MCAM)

Clin Immunol. May-Jun 2014;152(1-2):36-47. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2014.01.009. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Interleukin-17 (IL-17) has been associated with the pathogenesis of numerous autoimmune diseases. CD4+ T cells secreting IL-17 are termed Th17 cells. CD8+ T cells, designated Tc17 cells, are also capable of secreting IL-17. Here we describe a population of Tc17 cells characterized by the expression of surface CD146, an endothelial adhesion molecule. These cells display signatures of a human Tc17 genotype and phenotype. Circulating CD8+CD146+ T cells are present in low levels in healthy adults. Elevations in CD8+CD146+ T cells are found in Behcet's disease and birdshot retinochoroidopathy, which have been reported to have HLA class I associations. Sarcoidosis does not have a class I association and displays an increase in CD4+ CD146+ T cells but not in CD8+CD146+ T cells. CD146 on these cells may facilitate their ability to bind to, and migrate through, endothelium, as has been reported for CD4+CD146+ T cells.

Keywords: CD146/MCAM; Class I antigen; Inflammation; Tc17.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Behcet Syndrome / immunology*
  • Birdshot Chorioretinopathy
  • CD146 Antigen / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Chorioretinitis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Sarcoidosis / immunology*


  • CD146 Antigen
  • Interleukin-17

Supplementary concepts

  • Birdshot chorioretinopathy