The imbalance of Th17/Treg in Chinese children with Henoch-Schonlein purpura

Ou Chen, Xiao-bo Zhu, Hui Ren, Yi-biao Wang, Ruopeng Sun
International Immunopharmacology 2013, 16 (1): 67-71
Interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing T helper (Th17) cells and CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells are two new T-cell subsets that are thought to be critically involved in mediating and regulating autoimmune responses. The imbalance of Th17/Treg cells has been implicated in a wide range of autoimmune disorders. The aim of our study was to determine whether the Th17/Treg balance was abnormal in children with Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP). We examined twenty-three new-onset HSP patients and eighteen healthy children. The frequency of Th17 cells and the IL-17 concentration were higher in HSP patients than in healthy controls. The frequency of Treg cells and the interleukin 10 (IL-10) concentration were lower in HSP patients than in healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, HSP patients exhibited an increase in the ratio of Th17/Treg. The Th17/Treg ratio was positively correlated with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), kidney lesions and the clinical symptom of the presence of more than two organ systems with lesions. However, the ratio had no correlation with anti-streptolysin O (ASO) or complement 3 (C3) levels. These results indicate that a Th17/Treg imbalance exists in HSP, and it appears to be closely related to the disease onset.

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