Date Published:2016 Nov 01
Accumulating evidence shows that IL-17 is critically involved in diverse autoimmune diseases. However, its effect on the induction and progression of the humoral immune response is not fully understood. Using a preclinical model of IL-17-mediated dry eye disease, we demonstrate that upon encountering both the BCR and a secondary T cell signal, IL-17 can enhance B cell proliferation and germinal center formation in dry eye disease mice, suggesting that a stable Ag-dependent T-B cell interaction is required. Additionally, IL-17 also promotes the differentiation of B cells into isotype-switched B cells and plasma cells. Furthermore, we show that Th17 cells are more effective than Th1 cells to provide B cell help. Reduced B cell response correlates with significant reduction in clinical disease after in vivo IL-17A neutralization. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a new role of IL-17 in promoting autoimmunity in part through directly enhancing B cell proliferation, differentiation, and plasma cell generation.