CD4 T cells producing pro-inflammatory interleukin-17 mediate high pathology in schistosomiasis|
Laura I Rutitzky & Miguel J Stadecker
In murine schistosomiasis mansoni, pronounced CD4 T cell-mediated, egg-induced, hepato-intestinal immunopathology and death, whether genetically determined or elicited experimentally, are associated with failure to down-regulate a net pro-inflammatory immune response. Important evidence contributing to this notion comes from the observation that immunization with schistosome egg antigens in CFA (SEA/CFA) causes low pathology C57BL/6 mice to develop an exacerbated form of disease and death in a cytokine milieu characterized by elevated interferon (IFN)-g levels. Since such a pro-inflammatory environment presumes a signaling pathway involving interleukin (IL)-12, the SEA/CFA immunization model was used to examine the extent of hepatic immunopathology in the absence of this cytokine. Surprisingly, the IL-12p40 subunit was an absolute requirement for the development of exacerbated disease, whereas the IL-12p35 subunit was not. Moreover, significantly elevated in vitro production of IL-17, but not of IFN-g, correlated with the high pathology, and neutralization of IL-17 in vivo resulted in a significant reduction of hepatic inflammation. Our findings clearly demonstrate the pathogenic potential of the novel IL-17-producing T cell subpopulation (ThIL-17), previously shown to mediate chronic inflammation in autoimmune disease. They also imply that IL-23, but not IL-12, is the critical signal necessary to support the pro-inflammatory ThIL-17 subset involved in high pathology schistosomiasis.
schistosomiasis - severe immunopathology - CD4 T cells - interleukin-17