The role of T helper type 17 cells in inflammatory arthritis


  • S. Sarkar and L. A. Cooney contributed equally to this manuscript.

D. A. Fox, Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan Health Systems, 3918 Taubman Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, SPC 5358, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5358, USA.


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.