Difference in the expression of IL-9 and IL-17 correlates with different histological pattern of vascular wall injury in giant cell arteritis

Domenico Iacopino, Giuliana Guggino, Francesco Ciccia, Aroldo Rizzo, Alessandra Cannizzaro, Alberto Cavazza, Luigi Boiardi, Carlo Salvarani

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

39 Citazioni (Scopus)


Objective. GCA is a large- and medium-vessel arteritis characterized by a range of histological patterns of vascular wall injury. The aim of this study was to immunologically characterize the various histological patterns of GCA. Methods. Thirty-five consecutive patients with biopsy-proven GCA and 15 normal controls were studied. IL-8, IL-9, IL-9R, IL-17, IL-4, TGF-β and thymic stromal lymphopoietin expression was evaluated by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry on artery biopsy specimens. Confocal microscopy was used to characterize the phenotypes of IL-9-producing and IL-9R-expressing cells. Five additional patients who had received prednisone when the temporal artery biopsy was performed were also enrolled to evaluate the effect of glucocorticoids on IL-9 and IL-17 expression. Results. IL-17 overexpression was observed mainly in arteries with transmural inflammation and vasa vasorum vasculitis. IL-9 overexpression and Th9 polarization predominated in arteries with transmural inflammation and small-vessel vasculitis. The tissue expression of both IL-9 and IL-17 was correlated with the intensity of the systemic inflammatory response. IL-4, TGF-β and thymic stromal lymphopoietin, which are involved in the differentiation of Th9 cells, were overexpressed in arteries with transmural inflammation and small-vessel vasculitis. IL-9R was also overexpressed in GCA arteries with transmural inflammation and was accompanied by increased expression of IL-8. Conclusion. Herein we provide the first evidence that distinct populations of potentially autoreactive T cells, expressing different cytokines (Th17 vs Th9), characterize patients with particular histological subsets of GCA and may thus contribute to the heterogeneity of tissue lesions observed in these patients.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1596-1604
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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