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Alessandra Gonçalves Commodaro, Cíntia Raquel Bombardieri, Jean Pierre Schatzmann Peron, Kelly Cristina Saito, Pedro Mancini Guedes, Dânia E. Hamassaki, Rubens N. Belfort, Luiz Vicente Rizzo, Rubens Belfort, Maristela Martins de Camargo; p38α MAP Kinase Controls IL-17 Synthesis in Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome and Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(7):3567-3574. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4393.
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Interleukin (IL)-17, which is responsible for the initial influx of leukocytes into the target tissue, was recently described as the main cytokine involved in autoimmune diseases. Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) syndrome is a significant cause of noninfectious blindness in the world. Herein the authors aimed at unraveling the involvement of IL-17 in VKH and in experimental autoimmune uveitis, focusing on the signaling pathways involved in IL-17 synthesis.
Mice were immunized with 161–180 peptide and pertussis toxin. Draining lymph node cells, harvested 21 days after immunization, were cultured in the presence or absence of p38α mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor (SB203580) and assayed for cytokine production and quantification of CD4+IL-17+ cells. Mice received intraocular injections of SB203580, and disease severity was evaluated by histologic examination of the enucleated eyes at day 21. CD4+ lymphocytes from MSK-1/2-deficient mice, human CD4+ cells silenced with MSK1 siRNA, or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from VKH patients were cultured in the presence or absence of p38α MAPK inhibitor and then assayed for IL-17, IFN-γ, and IL-4 production.
The inhibition of p38α MAPK fully blocked the synthesis of IL-17 by PBMCs from VKH patients and lymphocytes from EAU mice. The absence of the msk1/2 gene resulted in failure to produce IL-17 by murine and human lymphocytes. Interestingly, intraocular injections of SB203580 in EAU mice did not suppress development of the disease.
These data show that p38α MAPK-MSK1/2 is involved in the control of IL-17 synthesis by CD4+ T cells and that inhibition of p38α MAPK in vitro suppresses IL-17 synthesis but that inhibition of this kinase in vivo did not protect from EAU.
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