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Open Access Research article

IL-17 induces production of IL-6 and IL-8 in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts via NF-κB- and PI3-kinase/Akt-dependent pathways

Sue-Yun Hwang1*, Ju-Young Kim1, Kyoung-Woon Kim1, Mi-Kyung Park1, Youngmee Moon1, Wan-Uk Kim2 and Ho-Youn Kim12

Author Affiliations

1 Rheumatism Research Center, Catholic Institutes of Medical Science, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea

2 Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Kangnam St Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea Medical School, Seoul, Korea

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Arthritis Res Ther 2004, 6:R120-R128  doi:10.1186/ar1038

Published: 21 January 2004

Abstract

Recent studies of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have revealed that both synovial fibroblasts and T cells participate in the perpetuation of joint inflammation as dynamic partners in a mutual activation feedback, via secretion of cytokines and chemokines that stimulate each other. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-17, a major Th1 cytokine produced by activated T cells, in the activation of RA synovial fibroblasts. Transcripts of IL-17R (IL-17 receptor) and IL-17RB (IL-17 receptor B) were present in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) of RA patients. IL-17R responded with increased expression upon in vitro stimulation with IL-17, while the level of IL-17RB did not change. IL-17 enhanced the production of IL-6 and IL-8 in FLS, as previously shown, but did not affect the synthesis of IL-15. IL-17 appears to be a stronger inducer of IL-6 and IL-8 than IL-15, and even exerted activation comparable to that of IL-1β in RA FLS. IL-17-mediated induction of IL-6 and IL-8 was transduced via activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and NF-κB, while CD40 ligation and p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) are not likely to partake in the process. Together these results suggest that IL-17 is capable of more than accessory roles in the activation of RA FLS and provide grounds for targeting IL-17-associated pathways in therapeutic modulation of arthritis inflammation.

Keywords:
fibroblast-like synoviocytes; IL-17; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; rheumatoid arthritis