Research ArticleMultiple Sclerosis

IL-17 and GM-CSF Expression Are Antagonistically Regulated by Human T Helper Cells

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Science Translational Medicine  18 Jun 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 241, pp. 241ra80
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008706

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Cytokine Rivalry

In patients with autoimmune diseases, cytokines—secreted immune mediators—are a crucial cause of tissue damage. However, the interplay between different cytokines and their individual roles in disease aggravation and resolution remain poorly defined, especially in humans. Noster et al. report that T helper (TH) cell production of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) may play a pathogenic role in the brain of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). They found that TH17-related cytokines—thought from mouse studies to be critical for pathogenesis—actually prevented induction of GM-CSF, whereas TH1-type cytokines promoted GM-CSF. These data provide a rationale for decreasing GM-CSF in patients with MS and suggest that, for MS at least, human may know best.