Immunologic research

Intravenous immunoglobulin exerts reciprocal regulation of Th1/Th17 cells and regulatory T cells in Guillain-Barré syndrome patients.

PMID 25391612


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute, autoimmune inflammatory disorder of peripheral nervous system characterized by a severe functional motor weakness. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is one of the approved and preferred therapeutic strategies for GBS. However, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic benefit with IVIg in GBS are not completely understood. In the present study, we observed that GBS patients have increased frequencies of Th1 and Th17 cells, but reduced number of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg cells) with defective functions. We show that IVIg treatment in GBS patients results in a marked reduction in the frequency of Th1 and Th17 cells with a concomitant expansion of Treg cells. Importantly, IVIg-expanded Treg cells exhibited an increased T cell suppressive function. Together our results demonstrate that therapeutic benefit of IVIg in GBS patients implicates the reciprocal regulation of Th1/Th17 and Treg cells.