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Absence of interleukin-17 receptor a signaling prevents autoimmune inflammation of the joint and leads to a Th2-like phenotype in collagen-induced arthritis.

Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.) (2014-02-08)
Odilia B J Corneth, Adriana M C Mus, Patrick S Asmawidjaja, Roel G J Klein Wolterink, Menno van Nimwegen, Maarten D Brem, Yara Hofman, Rudi W Hendriks, Erik Lubberts
ABSTRACT

Interleukin-17A (IL-17A) signals through the IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) A/C heterodimer. IL-17RA serves as a common receptor subunit for several IL-17 cytokine family members. Lack of IL-17RA signaling may therefore have additional effects beyond those of lack of IL-17A alone. The present study was undertaken to determine the role of IL-17RA signaling in autoimmune arthritis. Disease incidence and severity were scored in type II collagen-treated wild-type, IL-17RA-deficient, and IL-23p19-deficient mice. T helper cell profiles and humoral immune responses were analyzed at several time points. Pathogenicity of T cells and total splenocytes was determined by in vitro functional assay. IL-17RA signaling was blocked in vivo in mice with antigen-induced arthritis (AIA). Comparable to the findings in IL-23p19-deficient mice, IL-17RA-deficient mice were completely protected against the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). However, IL-17RA-deficient mice exhibited an increased number of IL-4-producing CD4+ T cells, distinct from IL-17A+CD4+ T cells. This was associated with fewer plasma cells, lower production of pathogenic IgG2c antibody, and increased production of IgG1 antibody. Both isolated CD4+ T cells and total splenocytes from IL-17RA-deficient mice had a reduced ability to induce IL-6 production by synovial fibroblasts in the setting of CIA, in a functional in vitro assay. Furthermore, blocking of IL-17RA signaling in AIA reduced synovial inflammation. These results demonstrate that absence of IL-17RA leads to a Th2-like phenotype characterized by IL-4 production and suggest that IL-17RA signaling plays a critical role in the regulation of IL-4 in CIA and the development of autoimmune inflammation of the joint.

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