Th17 cells in Neuro inflammation:
What we can learn from animal models of Multiple Sclerosis
Th17 cells are key inflammatory drivers defined by their production of IL-17 and found in many autoimmune diseases including Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Ever since their discovery in 2005 this cell population has been in the centre of my research interest. By using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS we were able to identify IRF4 as critical transcription factor of Th17 cell differentiation and the paracaspase MALT1 as indispensible for Th17 cell effector function. Building on this ground-breaking work, my group currently focuses on other aspects of Th17 cells such as migration and tissue specificity. We further investigate the impact of neutrophils, a mayor downstream cell population in Th17 cell responses, and their role in neuro inflammation. In close collaboration with the Canberra hospital we hope to translate our discoveries back to the MS patient in the future.