T Regulatory and T Helper 17 Cells in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome: Facts and Perspectives

Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:243723. doi: 10.1155/2015/243723. Epub 2015 Apr 28.


Historically, primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) was thought to be a T helper (h) 1 driven disease due to the predominance of CD4(+)T lymphocytes and their products in target organs and peripheral blood of patients. In the last decades, the identification of a number of T cell subsets, including Th17, T regulatory (Treg), and follicular helper T cells, challenged this long-standing paradigm and prompted to identify their role in pSS pathogenesis. In addition the impact of abnormal proinflammatory cytokine production, such as IL-6, IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23, has also attracted considerable attention. However, although several studies have been carried out in experimental models and patients with pSS, many aspects concerning the role of Treg cells and IL-17/Th17 cell system in pSS pathogenesis are not fully elucidated. In particular, the role played by different IL-17-producing T cell subsets as well as the effects of pharmacological therapies on Treg/Th17 cell balance represents an intriguing issue. The aim of this review article is to provide an overview of current knowledge on Treg cells and IL-17-producing T cells in pSS pathogenesis. We believe that these insights into pSS pathogenesis may provide the basis for successful therapeutic intervention in this disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-23
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins
  • interleukin-22