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Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3)-depleted
T helper type 17 (Th17) cells as an arthritis biomarker

Mouse studies suggest Treg cells that lose expression of FOXP3 and become Th17 cells can contribute to arthritis and could provide a useful biomarker to aid arthritis drug development. In a mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis, a population of Foxp3+ T cells lost Foxp3 expression, converted into Th17 cells and led to joint swelling and bone destruction. In cell culture, the conversion into Th17 cells depended on the presence of synovial fibroblasts and the production of Il-6. Next steps include identifying a molecular signature specific to Foxp3-depleted T cells that could serve as a biomarker or reveal potential therapeutic targets.

SciBX 7(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.132
Published online Jan. 30, 2014

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Komatsu, N. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Dec. 22, 2013;
Contact: Hiroshi Takayanagi, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan