Th17 cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F play a critical role in the activation and recruitment of neutrophils at airway inflammation mainly through the induction of CXC chemokines in the lungs. Vascular endothelial cells belong to the category of major CXC chemokine-producing cells. However, until now, the precise role of Th17 cytokines in CXC chemokine secretion in lung microvascular endothelial cells (LMVECs) has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we examined the biological effects of Th17 cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F on CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 release in LMVECs. Both IL-17 receptor A (IL-17RA) and IL-17RC are expressed on the surface of LMVECs. In contrast to IL-17F, IL-17A significantly upregulated CXCL1 mRNA expression and protein release, whereas both IL-17A and IL-17F did not have the ability to induce CXCL5 and CXCL8 secretion in LMVECs. IL-17A and IL-17F displayed positive regulatory effects on IL-1β- induced CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 secretion. On the other hand, IL-17A enhanced the upregulating effect of TNF-α on CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 release, whereas IL-17F had a negative regulatory effect on TNF-α-mediated secretion. Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 showed an inhibitory effect on IL-1β plus IL-17A-induced CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 secretion, but displayed a positive regulatory effect on TNF-α plus IL-17A-induced secretion. These results provide evidence that Th17 cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F have a distinct regulatory role in CXCL1, CXCL5, and CXCL8 expression in LMVECs stimulated either with IL-1β or with TNF-α. Our findings also suggest that CXC chemokine secretion in LMVECs may be complicatedly regulated by Th17 cytokines, Th2 cytokines, and macrophage-associated cytokines in pathological conditions such as bronchial asthma.
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