The Suppressive Effect of IL-27 on Encephalitogenic Th17 Cells Induced by Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes Reduces the Severity of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

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Abstract

Background

Both Th1 and Th17 cells specific for neuroantigen are described as encephalitogenic in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model.

Aim

The proposal of this study was to investigate how carbon nanotubes internalized by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) affect the development of encephalitogenic CD4+ T cells.

Methods

Therefore, we stimulated encephalitogenic T cells in the presence or not of multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT). After the incubation, we analyzed the expression profile of the encephalitogenic T cells and their capacity to induce EAE.

Results

Encephalitogenic CD4+ T cells cultured with APCs that were previously incubated with MWCNTs do not express IL-17. The adoptive transfer of these cells causes less severe EAE than the transfer of both Th1 and Th17 cells that are not incubated with MWCNTs. These results suggest that the increased IL-27 level produced by the APCs incubated with the carbon nanotubes inhibits the development of Th17 cells. This observation is confirmed by the concomitant reduction in the level of RORγt, which is a transcription factor essential for the development of Th17 cells. Moreover, the incubation of encephalitogenic T cells devoid of Th17 cells with neutralizing anti-IL-27 antibodies restored the production of IL-17.

Conclusion

This finding confirms the suppressive effect of IL-27 on encephalitogenic Th17 cells. The results presented suggest that the stimulation of APCs with carbon nanoparticles prior to neuroantigen presentation affects the development of the Th17 subset of encephalitogenic CD4+ T lymphocytes and results in less severe EAE.

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