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Th17 cells transdifferentiate into regulatory T cells during resolution of inflammation

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Title:Th17 cells transdifferentiate into regulatory T cells during resolution of inflammation
Authors:Gagliani, Nicola
Vesely, Maria Carolina Amezcua
Iseppon, Andrea
Brockmann, Leonie
Xu, Hao
show 18 morePalm, Noah W.
de Zoete, Marcel R.
Licona-Limon, Paula
Paiva, Ricardo S.
Ching, Travers
Weaver, Casey
Zi, Xiaoyuan
Pan, Xinghua
Fan, Rong
Garmire, Lana X.
Cotton, Matthew J.
Drier, Yotam
Bernstein, Bradley
Geginat, Jens
Stockinger, Brigitta
Esplugues, Enric
Huber, Samuel
Flavell, Richard A.
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Date Issued:Jul 2015
Abstract:Inflammation is a beneficial host response to infection but can contribute to inflammatory disease if unregulated. The TH17 lineage of T helper (TH) cells can cause severe human inflammatory diseases. These cells exhibit both instability (they can cease to express their signature cytokine, IL-17A)1 and plasticity (they can start expressing cytokines typical of other lineages)1,2 upon in vitro re-stimulation. However, technical limitations have prevented the transcriptional profiling of pre- and post-conversion TH17 cells ex vivo during immune responses. Thus, it is unknown whether TH17 cell plasticity merely reflects change in expression of a few cytokines, or if TH17 cells physiologically undergo global genetic reprogramming driving their conversion from one T helper cell type to another, a process known as transdifferentiation3,4. Furthermore, although TH17 cell instability/plasticity has been associated with pathogenicity1,2,5, it is unknown whether this could present a therapeutic opportunity, whereby formerly pathogenic TH17 cells could adopt an anti-inflammatory fate. Here we used two new fate-mapping mouse models to track TH17 cells during immune responses to show that CD4+ T cells that formerly expressed IL-17A go on to acquire an anti-inflammatory phenotype. The transdifferentiation of TH17 into regulatory T cells was illustrated by a change in their signature transcriptional profile and the acquisition of potent regulatory capacity. Comparisons of the transcriptional profiles of pre- and postconversion TH17 cells also revealed a role for canonical TGF-β signalling and consequently for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in conversion. Thus, TH17 cells transdifferentiate into regulatory cells, and contribute to the resolution of inflammation. Our data suggest that TH17 cell instability and plasticity is a therapeutic opportunity for inflammatory diseases.
Appears in Collections: University of Hawaii Cancer Center Faculty & Researcher Works

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