Everything in moderation, especially TH17 cells

Mirko Paiardini’s paper, published this week in Journal of Clinical Investigation, describes a treatment aimed at repairing immune function in SIV-infected monkeys, with an eye toward helping people with HIV one day. One of the goals of their IL-21 treatment is to restore intestinal Th17 cells, which are depleted by viral infection. In this context, IL-21’s effect is anti-inflammatory. Dr. Paiardini is a faculty member in the IMP program.

However, Th17 cells are also involved in autoimmune disease. A recent Cell Metabolism paper from endocrinologist and IMP faculty member Roberto Pacifici and colleagues examines a drug under development for psoriasis that is directed against Th17 cells, which could be repurposed to treat bone loss coming from a overactive parathyroid. In that situation, too many Th17 cells are bad and they need to be beaten back.

Click here to view the full story in Lab Land, the Emory Health Sciences Research Blog. Dr. Pacifici is also featured in a related story in EurekAlert, the Global Source for Science News.