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Potential involvement of IL-9 and Th9 cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Autori: Ciccia, F.; Guggino, G.; Rizzo, A.; Manzo, A.; Vitolo, B.; Manna, M.; Giardina, G.; Sireci, G.; Dieli, F.; Montecucco, C.; Alessandro, R.; Triolo, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Objective. IL-9 has been shown to be upregulated before the clinical onset of articular disease in RA. The exact role of IL-9 and Th9 cells in RA, however, has not yet been adequately studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of IL-9 and IL-9-expressing cells in RA patients. Methods. IL-9, IL-9R, PU.1, IL-9, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), IL-4 and TGF-β expression was assessed by real-time-PCR in the synovial tissues of RA and OA patients. IL-9, IL-9R, IL-4, TSLP and TGF-β were also investigated by immunohistochemistry. Peripheral CD4+ T cell subsets were studied by flow cytometry analysis before and after incubation with citrullinated peptides. Results. IL-9 was overexpressed in RA synovial tissues and correlated with the degree of histological organization of B and T cells in ectopic lymphoid structures. The majority of IL-9-producing cells were identified as CD3+ cells. Increased mRNA and protein expression of IL-9R, IL-4, TSLP and TGF-β was also observed in RA synovial tissue. Blood peripheral Th9 cells were expanded by citrullinated peptides. Conclusion. These results indicate that Th9 cells and IL-9 were frequently detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and synovia of RA patients. A possible pathogenic role for Th9 in RA is discussed.