Arthritis Research & Therapy vol:11 issue:4 pages:R122
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Interleukin (IL)-17 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Since interferon (IFN)-gamma inhibits Th17 cell development, IFN-gamma receptor knockout (IFN-gammaR KO) mice develop CIA more readily. We took advantage of this model to analyse the mechanisms of action of IL-17 in arthritis. The role of IFN-gamma on the effector mechanisms of IL-17 in an in vitro system was also investigated. METHODS: IFN-gammaR KO mice induced for CIA were treated with anti-IL-17 or control antibody. The collagen type II (CII)-specific humoral and cellular autoimmune responses, myelopoiesis, osteoclastogenesis, and systemic cytokine production were determined. Mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEF) were stimulated with IL-17, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and the expression of cytokines and chemokines were determined. RESULTS: A preventive anti-IL-17 antibody treatment inhibited CIA in IFNgammaR KO mice. In the joints of anti-IL-17-treated mice, neutrophil influx and bone destruction were absent. Treatment reduced the cellular autoimmune response as well as the splenic expansion of CD11b+ cells, and production of myelopoietic cytokines such as granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and IL-6. IL-17 and TNF-alpha synergistically induced granulocyte chemotactic protein-2 (GCP-2), IL-6 and receptor activator of NFkappaB ligand (RANKL) in MEF. This induction was profoundly inhibited by IFN-gamma in a STAT-1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-1)-dependent way. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of IFN-gamma, IL-17 mediates its pro-inflammatory effects mainly through stimulatory effects on granulopoiesis, neutrophil infiltration and bone destruction. In vitro IFN-gamma profoundly inhibits the effector function of IL-17. Thus, aside from the well-known inhibition of the development of Th17 cells by IFN-gamma, this may be an additional mechanism through which IFN-gamma attenuates autoimmune diseases.