IL-17 production from T helper 17, mucosal-associated invariant T, and γδ cells in tuberculosis infection and disease

Felicity Coulter, Amy Parrish, Declan Manning, Beate Kampmann, Joseph Mendy, Mathieu Garand, David M. Lewinsohn, Eleanor M. Riley, Jayne S. Sutherland

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58 Scopus citations


IL-17-producing cells have been shown to be important in the early stages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection in animal models. However, there are very little data on the role of IL-17 in human studies of tuberculosis (TB). We recruited TB patients and their highly exposed contacts who were further categorized based on results from an IFN-γ-release assay (IGRA): (1) IGRA positive (IGRA+) at recruitment (latently TB infected), (2) IGRA negative (IGRA-) at recruitment and 6 months [non-converters (NC)], and (3) IGRA- at recruitment and IGRA+ at 6 months (converters). Whole blood was stimulated with mycobacterial antigens and analyzed using T helper (Th) 17 multiplex cytokine assays. Th17, Vγ9Vδ2+, and CD161++Vα7.2+ mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The majority of IL-17 was produced by CD26+CD4+ Th17 cells (median 71%) followed by γδ T cells (6.4%) and MAIT cells (5.8%). TB patients had a significantly lower proportion of Th17 cells and CD4+CD161+Vα7.2+ cells producing both IL-17 and IFN-γ compared to LTBI subjects. IGRA NC had significantly lower levels of CD26-CD4+ and CD8+ MAIT cells producing IL-17 compared to IGRA C but had significantly higher levels of IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, and IL-23 in ESAT-6/CFP-10-stimulated supernatants compared to IGRA C. These data provide new insights into the role of IL-17 and IL-17-producing cells at three key stages of the Mtb infection spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1252
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - Oct 11 2017


  • Gamma delta
  • IL-17 superfamily
  • Mucosal-associated invariant T
  • T helper 17
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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