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Cancer science

Th17 cells and interleukin-17 increase with poor prognosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.


PMID 24890519

Abstract

Although Th17 cells play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of many autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, their roles in malignancies are currently under debate. The role and mechanism of Th17 cells in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrated that the frequency of Th17 cells was significantly increased in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and bone marrow mononuclear cells from AML patients compared with healthy donors. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-17, IL-22, IL-23, IL-1β, IL-6, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 were significantly increased in blood and bone marrow in AML patients compared with healthy donors. The in vitro experiments demonstrated that IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23, but not TGF-β1 promoted the generation and differentiation of Th17 cells from naive CD4(+) T cells in humans. IL-17A, a signature cytokine secreted by Th17 cells, induced the proliferation of IL-17 receptor (IL-17R)-positive AML cells via IL-17R, in which activation of PI3K/Akt and Jak/Stat3 signaling pathway may play important roles. In addition, combination of IL-17A and IL-22 significantly reduced the generation of Th1 cells and the production of interferon (IFN)-γ from healthy donor or AML patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Patients with high Th17 cell frequency had poor prognosis, whereas patients with high Th1 cell frequency had prolonged survival. Combined analysis of Th1 and Th17 cell frequencies improved the ability to predict patient outcomes. In conclusion, Th17 cells play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of AML and may be an important therapeutic target and prognostic predictor.