Regulation of type 17 helper T-cell function by nitric oxide during inflammation.

Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8TA, Scotland.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 05/2011; 108(22):9220-5. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1100667108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Type 17 helper T (Th17) cells are implicated in the pathogenesis many of human autoimmune diseases. Development of Th17 can be enhanced by the activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) whose ligands include the environmental pollutant dioxin, potentially linking environmental factors to the increased prevalence of autoimmune disease. We report here that nitric oxide (NO) can suppress the proliferation and function of polarized murine and human Th17 cells. NO also inhibits AHR expression in Th17 cells and the downstream events of AHR activation, including IL-22, IL-23 receptor, and Cyp1a1. Conversely, NO did not affect the polarization of Th17 cells from mice deficient in AHR. Furthermore, mice lacking inducible nitric oxide synthase (Nos2(-/-)) developed more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis than WT mice, with elevated AHR expression, increased IL-17A, and IL-22 synthesis. NO may therefore represent an important endogenous regulator to prevent overexpansion of Th17 cells and control of autoimmune diseases caused by environmental pollutants.

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