Inhibition of the transcription factor ROR-γ reduces pathogenic Th17 cells in acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis.
IL-17 producing CD4 T cells (Th17) cells increase significantly with disease severity in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. To suppress the generation of Th17 cells, we examined the effect of inhibiting retinoic acid receptor-related-orphan-receptor-C (RORγ), a Th17-specific transcription factor critical for differentiation. RORγ inhibition profoundly reduced Th17 cell frequencies, including IFN-γ and IL-17 co-producing pathogenic Th17 cells. Other T helper subsets were not affected. In parallel, CD8 T cell subsets producing IL-17 and IL-17/IFN-γ were increased in MG patients and inhibited by the RORγ inhibitor. These findings provide rationale for exploration of targeted Th17 therapies, including ROR-γ inhibitors, to treat MG patients.
Yi, JS; Russo, MA; Raja, S; Massey, JM; Juel, VC; Shin, J; Hobson-Webb, LD; Gable, K; Guptill, JT
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