Date: Monday, November 6, 2017
Session Title: T Cell Biology and Targets in Autoimmune Disease Poster I
Session Type: ACR Poster Session B
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: The intestinal microbiota has been associated with psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis. One of the major effects of microbiota is the induction of mucosal T helper 17 (Th17) cells. We therefore reasoned that the efficacy of Th17-targeted therapies in arthritis may depend on the host microbiota. Previous studies focused on the role of the cytokine interleukin-17A (IL-17), rather than Th17 cells, by using IL-17 inhibitors or IL-17-deficient mice. Therefore, the role of Th17 cells, which produce multiple pro-inflammatory mediators in addition to IL-17, is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to determine the role of Th17 cells, beyond the cytokine IL-17, in arthritis, and to investigate whether Th17 cells are differentially involved in arthritis depending on the microbiota present.
Methods: We established conditional Th17-deficient mice, which exhibit a CD4-Cre-induced floxing of a part of the Rorc allele that encodes the Th17 master regulator RORγt. We compared the development of collagen-induced arthritis in Th17-deficient (CD4-Cre+ Rorcflox/flox) littermate mice, either colonized with known Th17 cell inducers segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) or harboring the SFB-free Jackson microbiota. The abundance of Th1 and Th17 cells and the production of IL-17, IFNγ and GM-CSF were quantified by flow cytometry and multiplex cytokine assay.
Results: CD4-Cre+ T cells and Gr1+neutrophils being the main alternative sources of IL-17. Despite this increased total IL-17 levels, conditional Th17-deficient mice developed a less severe arthritis compared with Th17-sufficient mice when intestinal microbiota comprised SFB. This suggests a role for Th17 cells in inflammatory arthritis distinct from IL-17. Accordingly, synovial inflammation, cartilage destruction and proteoglycan depletion were reduced in SFB-colonized Th17-deficient mice. While the production of IL-17 by joint-draining lymph node cells stimulated with PMA and ionomycin was similar between Th17-sufficient and –deficient mice, cells from the latter group produced significantly less IL-17 upon antigen-specific stimulation with type II collagen. Furthermore, the production of GM-CSF, another Th17 cell-derived cytokine, was significantly lower in the lymph nodes of Th17-deficient mice, an effect associated with the protection against arthritis. Importantly, substitution of the intestinal microbiota with SFB-free Jackson microbiota resulted in the loss of Th17 cell dependency of arthritis as Th17-sufficient and –deficient mice showed similar disease progression under this condition.
Conclusion: These data suggest that Th17 cells may mediate inflammatory arthritis partly through IL-17-independent mechanisms. Our observations also suggest that the involvement of Th17 cells in arthritis depends on the composition of the microbiota present in the host. Therefore, a microbiome-guided stratification of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis patients might improve the efficacy of Th17 (or IL-17)-targeted therapies.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Evans-Marin H, Rogier R, Scher JU, Roeleveld DM, Koenders MI, Abdollahi-Roodsaz S. Involvement of T Helper 17 Cells in Inflammatory Arthritis Depends on the Host Intestinal Microbiota [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017; 69 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/involvement-of-t-helper-17-cells-in-inflammatory-arthritis-depends-on-the-host-intestinal-microbiota/. Accessed July 11, 2020.
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