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Keywords:

  • collagen arthritis;
  • cytokines;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • spondyloarthritis;
  • T lymphocytes

Summary

While T cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis for more than three decades, the focus on the T helper type 17 (Th17) subset of CD4 T cells and their secreted cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-17, is much more recent. Proinflammatory actions of IL-17 were first identified in the 1990s, but the delineation of a distinct Th17 subset in late 2005 has sparked great interest in the role of these cells in a broad range of immune-mediated diseases. This review summarizes current understanding of the role of Th17 cells and their products in both animal models of inflammatory arthritis and human immune-driven arthritides.