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08-12-2017 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Article

Rheumatoid arthritis bone marrow environment supports Th17 response

Arthritis Research & Therapy

Authors: Ewa Kuca-Warnawin, Weronika Kurowska, Monika Prochorec-Sobieszek, Anna Radzikowska, Tomasz Burakowski, Urszula Skalska, Magdalena Massalska, Magdalena Plebańczyk, Barbara Małdyk-Nowakowska, Iwona Słowińska, Robert Gasik, Włodzimierz Maśliński

Publisher: BioMed Central


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, autoimmune disease leading to joint destruction and ultimately disability. Bone marrow (BM) is an important compartment in RA, where pathological processes from “outside the joint” can occur. IL-17 is a cytokine that exerts proinflammatory effects and participates in the process of bone destruction. It is believed that IL-17 is involved in pathogenesis of RA. However, little is known about the biology of this cytokine in BM. In the present study we investigated Th17-related cytokines in RA BM.
BM samples were obtained from RA and osteoarthritis (OA) patients during total hip replacement surgery. Levels of IL-17AF, IL-17AA, IL-17FF, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23, TGF-β and CCL20 in BM plasma were determined by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests. Percentage of IL-17-producing cells in BM was evaluated by flow cytometry. The effect of IL-15 stimulation on IL-17 production by BM mononuclear cells was examined in vitro.
Increased levels of IL-17AF were observed in BM plasma of RA patients in comparison to OA patients. Increased concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6 and CCL20 were observed in RA compared to OA BM plasma. Concordant with these findings, significantly increased percentages of CD3+CD4+IL-17+ and CD3+CD4+IL-17+IFN-γ+ cells were present in RA BM in comparison to OA BM samples. Finally, abundant in RA BM, IL-15 increased IL-17 production by cultured BM mononuclear cells.
In the course of RA, the BM microenvironment can promote the development of Th17 cell responses and overproduction of IL-17AF that may lead to increased inflammation and tissue destruction in RA BM.

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