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T helper 17 cell
T helper 17 cells (Th17) are a subset of interleukin 17-producing T helper cells. They are considered developmentally distinct from Th1 and Th2 cells and are thought to play a key role in autoimmune disease.
Additional recommended knowledge
Activation of precursor T helper cells in the presence of TGF-beta and IL-6 is thought to drive differentiation of Th17 cells. Aside from cytokine environment, it is unclear whether any other elements of the initial activation of Th17 cells differ from those of other T helper cells. It has been suggested that IL-23 is involved in the expansion of established Th17 populations. IL-21, a cytokine produced by Th17 cells themselves, has also been shown to initiate an alternative route for the activation of Th17 populations. Both Interferon gamma and IL-4, the main stimulators of Th1 and Th2 differentiation respectively, have been shown to negatively regulate Th17 differentiation.
On initial characterisation, Th17 cells were broadly implicated in autoimmune disease and auto-specific Th17 were shown to be highly pathogenic. A more natural role for Th17 cells is suggested by studies which have demonstrated preferential induction of IL-17 in cases of host infection with various bacterial and fungal species. Th17 primarily produce two main members of the IL-17 family; IL-17A and IL-17F which are involved in the recruitment, activation and migration of neutrophils.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "T_helper_17_cell". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|