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Keywords:

  • IL-17A;
  • IL-1;
  • inflammation;
  • allergic disease;
  • autoimmune disease;
  • bacterial infection

Summary: T-helper 17 (Th17) cells are a newly discovered CD4+ helper T-cell subset that produces interleukin-17A (IL-17A) and IL-17F. IL-17A plays important roles in allergic responses such as delayed-type hypersensitivity, contact hypersensitivity, and allergic airway inflammation. IL-17A promotes inflammation by inducing various proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, recruiting neutrophils, enhancing antibody production, and activating T cells. IL-17A expression is also augmented in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Using mouse models of these diseases, we found that IL-17A plays a central role in their development. IL-6 is required for the development of Th17 cells and tumor necrosis factor functions downstream of IL-17A during the effector phase. IL-1 is important both for developing Th17 cells and eliciting inflammation. Th17 cells, like Th1 and Th2 cells, are involved in host defense against infections, but the contribution of these Th subsets to defense mechanisms differs among pathogens. The roles of IL-17F remain largely unknown. In this review, we introduce how IL-17A/IL-17F are involved in inflammatory immune responses and host defense mechanisms and discuss their relationship with other cytokines in the development of inflammatory and infectious diseases.