Effects of the Shared Epitope on the Cytokine Concentrations in Rheumatoid Arthritis Th17 Cells
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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is in association with HLA-DR4 alleles containing the shared epitope, a conserved sequence of amino acids in the third hypervariable region (HVR3) of the class II DRpl chain. It has now been considered a T helper 17-cell-mediated disorder supported by the observation of the inhibition or overexpression of the cytokine, IL-17, in the joints that suppresses or worsens joint inflammation and damage. The goal of this experiment was to assess the correlation between Thl7 cells, IL-17 and the shared epitope amino acid sequence. Naive T cells and dendritic cells were extracted from the bone marrow and spleens of young mice and polarized towards Thl7 cells after being treated with the shared epitope amino acid sequence, 0401, as well as its respective negative control. 0402. Once Thl7 cells were identified and sorted from the cell solution using flow cytometry, immunoassays were performed to detect the IL-17 and other cytokine concentrations of the treated Thl7 cells involved in the differentiation process. It was determined that the shared epitope had a direct correlation with IL-17, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-12 cytokine concentrations and an indirect correlation with IL-ip cytokine concentrations. These results suggest that the shared epitope has some sort of effect on the cytokine secretion and may provide a target for therapy treatments for rheumatoid arthritis patients.