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Trans-presentation of IL-6 by dendritic cells is required for the priming of pathogenic TH17 cells

Nat Immunol. 2016 Nov 28. doi: 10.1038/ni.3632. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Heink S, Yogev N, Garbers C, Herwerth M, Aly L, Gasperi C, Husterer V, Croxford AL, Möller-Hackbarth K, Bartsch HS, Sotlar K, Krebs S, Regen T, Blum H, Hemmer B, Misgeld T, Wunderlich TF, Hidalgo J, Oukka M, Rose-John S, Schmidt-Supprian M, Waisman A, Korn T.
Publication Date: 2016

2016_11_heink

Abstract

The cellular sources of interleukin 6 (IL-6) that are relevant for differentiation of the TH17 subset of helper T cells remain unclear. Here we used a novel strategy for the conditional deletion of distinct IL-6-producing cell types to show that dendritic cells (DCs) positive for the signaling regulator Sirpα were essential for the generation of pathogenic TH17 cells. Using their IL-6 receptor α-chain (IL-6Rα), Sirpα+ DCs trans-presented IL-6 to T cells during the process of cognate interaction. While ambient IL-6 was sufficient to suppress the induction of expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 in T cells, trans-presentation of IL-6 by DC-bound IL-6Rα (called 'IL-6 cluster signaling' here) was needed to prevent premature induction of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) expression in T cells and to generate pathogenic TH17 cells in vivo. Our findings should guide therapeutic approaches for the treatment of TH17-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.

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