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IL-17-producing CD4+ T helper cells (TH17) have been extensively investigated in mouse models of autoimmunity. However, the requirements for differentiation and the properties of pathogen-induced human TH17 cells remain poorly defined. Using an approach that combines the in vitro priming of naive T cells with the ex vivo analysis of memory T cells, we describe here two types of human TH17 cells with distinct effector function and differentiation requirements. Candida albicans-specific TH17 cells produced IL-17 and IFN-γ, but no IL-10, whereas Staphylococcus aureus-specific TH17 cells produced IL-17 and could produce IL-10 upon restimulation. IL-6, IL-23 and IL-1β contributed to TH17 differentiation induced by both pathogens, but IL-1β was essential in C. albicans-induced TH17 differentiation to counteract the inhibitory activity of IL-12 and to prime IL-17/IFN-γ double-producing cells. In addition, IL-1β inhibited IL-10 production in differentiating and in memory TH17 cells, whereas blockade of IL-1β in vivo led to increased IL-10 production by memory TH17 cells. We also show that, after restimulation, TH17 cells transiently downregulated IL-17 production through a mechanism that involved IL-2-induced activation of STAT5 and decreased expression of ROR-γt. Taken together these findings demonstrate that by eliciting different cytokines C. albicans and S. aureus prime TH17 cells that produce either IFN-γ or IL-10, and identify IL-1β and IL-2 as pro- and anti-inflammatory regulators of TH17 cells both at priming and in the effector phase.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nature10957

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature

Publication Date

26/04/2012

Volume

484

Pages

514 - 518

Keywords

Antigen Presentation, Candida albicans, Cell Differentiation, Down-Regulation, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-10, Interleukin-17, Interleukin-1beta, Interleukin-2, Lymphocyte Activation, Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3, STAT5 Transcription Factor, Staphylococcus aureus, Th17 Cells, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha