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Inhibition of the transcription factor ROR-γ reduces pathogenic Th17 cells in acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis.

IL-17 producing CD4 T cells (Th17) cells increase significantly with disease severity in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. To suppress the generation of Th17 cells, we examined the effect of inhibiting retinoic acid receptor-related-orphan-receptor-C (RORγ), a Th17-specific transcription factor critical for differentiation. RORγ inhibition profoundly reduced Th17 cell frequencies, including IFN-γ and IL-17 co-producing pathogenic Th17 cells. Other T helper subsets were not affected. In parallel, CD8 T cell subsets producing IL-17 and IL-17/IFN-γ were increased in MG patients and inhibited by the RORγ inhibitor. These findings provide rationale for exploration of targeted Th17 therapies, including ROR-γ inhibitors, to treat MG patients.

Citation: 

Yi, John S., Melissa A. Russo, Shruti Raja, Janice M. Massey, Vern C. Juel, Jay Shin, Lisa D. Hobson-Webb, Karissa Gable, and Jeffrey T. Guptill. “Inhibition of the transcription factor ROR-γ reduces pathogenic Th17 cells in acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis.” Exp Neurol 325 (March 2020): 113146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2019.113146.

Published Date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Published In: 
Exp Neurol
PMID: 
31838097