T helper 17 cells and interleukin-17 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Author(s): Nedal Nasef, Magda Elnagdy, Wafaa Younis, Rawia Badr, Sherief El-bussiouni, Ahmed Akef & Mohamad Rashwan

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disease which may lead to a shorter life expectancy and lessened personal satisfaction. it is driven by effector T cells, particularly Th17 cells which possess a proinflammatory activity via the production of potent proinflammatory molecules IL-17. We aimed to assess and find possible correlations between the 28-joint Disease Activities Scores (DAS28), Th17 cells frequencies and IL-17 serum levels, and evaluation of the effect of anti-rheumatic therapy on Th17 cells and IL-17 levels. The frequencies of the circulating Th17 cells and serum levels of IL-17 were quantified using flow cytometry analysis and ELISA, respectively, in RA patients both before (baseline) and four months after anti-rheumatic therapy. Th17 cells in Peripheral Blood (PB) and serum IL-17 were found to be significantly increased in RA patients than in controls. The frequencies of circulating Th17 cells, the serum level of IL-17, and DAS28 score showed significant decline after therapy, the circulating Th17 cells, the serum levels of IL-17 were positively correlated with DAS28, also Th17 cells significantly correlated with serum IL-17. This study demonstrated increased level of Th-17 cells and serum IL-17 in RA indicating a role in pathogenesis and disease activity.