Prague Med. Rep. 2022, 123, 166-180

Disturbance in Serum Levels of IL-17 and TGF-β1 and in Gene Expression of ROR-γt and FOX-P3 Is Associated with Pathogenicity of Systematic Lupus Erythematosus

Hanaa N. Ali1, Ghassaq T. Alubaidi2, Faiq I. Gorial3, Ilham A. Jasim2

1Microbiology Unit, Emam Ali Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
2Medical Research Unit, College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq
3Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

Received December 27, 2021
Accepted August 2, 2022

To investigate the disturbance in serum levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) and gene expression of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor-gamma t (ROR-γt) and forkhead box-P3 (FOX-P3) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to study their association with disease pathogenicity and activity. Newly diagnosed active patients with SLE (n=88) and healthy volunteers (n=70) were included. Serum IL-17 and TGF-β1 were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Gene-expression profiles of ROR-γt and FOX-P3 were screened using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The IL-17/TGF-β1 and ROR-γt/FOX-P3 levels were also calculated. The mean age of the patients was 30.96±8.25 years; they were 82 women and 6 men. Of the patients, 11.4% manifested mild disease while 88.6% had severe disease. The serum level of TGF-β1 was significantly lower (70.2±34.9 vs. 200.23±124.77 pg/ml), while both IL-17 (614.7±317.5 vs. 279.76±110.65 pg/ml) and IL-17/TGF-β1 (18.5±30.1 vs. 1.66±0.9) levels were significantly higher, in patients than in controls (p<0.0001). The gene-expression level of FOX-P3 (0.6±0.8 vs. 13.68±39.35) was reported to be lower, while ROR-γt (3.9±3.5 vs. 1.99±2.09) and ROR-γt/FOX-P3 (18.6±21.1 vs. 7.63±17.19) levels were significantly higher, in patients than in controls (p<0.0001). Disturbance in serum levels of IL-17 and TGF-β1 in T helper-17 and T-regulatory cells proliferation was highlighted through an imbalance in the gene expression of FOX-P3 and ROR-γt, as both are signature genes for the two cell types, respectively. These findings underscore the critical role of IL-17 and TGF-β1 in SLE development, rendering them potential targets for developing novel immunotherapeutic strategies.


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