The role of IL-17 in the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans

K.P. Zak, V.V. Popova


The paper analyzes the latest publications on the biological and pathogenetic role of the recently discovered pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17 secreted by the Th17 CD4+ T-cell clone in a healthy and ill persons. Given data indicate the key role of IL-17 in the pathogenesis of the majority of autoimmune diseases, especially type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Increased percentage of Th17 cells in the body and elevated level of the cytokine IL-17 is typical for patients with diabetes mellitus both type 1 and type 2. In addition, there is another subpopulation of CD4+ T-cells — CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ lymphocytes, called T-regulatory cells (Treg), inhibiting Th17 cells, and thus preventing the development of diabetes mellitus. Based on these data, a hypothesis of a balance between these two subpopulations of CD4+ T-cells in the body of a healthy person has been suggested. In diabetes mellitus an imbalance between Th17 and Treg cells develops in the direction of increasing the Th17 cell content and IL-17 level, which is accompanied by a syngeneic elevation in Th1 CD4+ T-proinflammatory cytokines. Obtaining more complete information on the properties of IL-17 in the future is of great importance for the development of new scientifically valid methods for the prevention and therapy of diabetes mellitus and other autoimmune diseases.


type1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus; IL-17


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