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Interleukin 21 (IL-21) is a member of the common gamma-chain family of cytokines, which influence a broad spectrum of immunologic responses. A number of studies have examined the function of IL-21, but its specific role in Th1/Th2-cell differentiation and related effector responses remains to be clarified. Thus, we generated IL-21R-deficient mice and have(More)
Th17 cells have been recognized as the central effectors in organ-related autoimmune diseases. IL-6 is a key factor that reciprocally regulates Th17 and Foxp3(+) Treg differentiation by inhibition of TGF-beta induced Foxp3 and induction of RORgammat, a Th17 lineage-specific transcription factor. Recently IL-21 has been suggested to induce RORgammat and Th17(More)
IL-17-producing CD4(+) T cells have been recognized as key players in organ-related autoimmune disease; however, the parameters that govern their development are yet to be elucidated fully. By using both in vivo and in vitro systems, we have investigated the role of antigen dose, pathogen-associated molecular patterns, and CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L)(More)
Dilated cardiomyopathy, resulting from myocarditis, is the most common cause of heart failure in young patients. We here show that interleukin (IL)-1 receptor type 1-deficient (IL-1R1(-/-)) mice are protected from development of autoimmune myocarditis after immunization with alpha-myosin-peptide(614-629). CD4(+) T cells from immunized IL-1R1(-/-) mice(More)
Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is critically involved in development of organ-related autoimmune inflammatory diseases including experimental allergic encephalitis and collagen-induced arthritis. Roles of GM-CSF in the initiation and in the effector phase of the autoimmune response have been proposed. Our study was designed to(More)
Genetic susceptibility and autoimmunity triggered by microbial infections are factors implicated in the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy, the most common cause of heart failure in young patients. Here we show that dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with a heart-specific self peptide induce CD4+ T-cell-mediated myocarditis in nontransgenic mice. Toll-like(More)
The most common reason for heart failure in young adults is dilated cardiomyopathy often resulting from myocarditis. Clinical studies and animal models provide evidence that an autoimmune response against heart myosin is the underlying reason for the disease. IL-12 has been suggested to play a key role in development of experimental autoimmune myocarditis(More)
T cell activation by APCs is positively and negatively regulated by members of the B7 family. We have identified a previously unknown function for B7 family-related protein V-set and Ig domain-containing 4 (VSIG4). In vitro experiments using VSIG4-Ig fusion molecules showed that VSIG4 is a strong negative regulator of murine and human T cell proliferation(More)
Autoimmune responses directed against heart-specific antigens most likely play a key role in the pathogenesis of myocarditis. Although autoantibodies against cardiac determinants are frequently detected both in human patients and mice suffering from myocarditis, the immunological mechanisms for their induction have not yet been fully explored. We used here(More)
Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is a cytokine which is essential for the maturation of eosinophils in bone marrow and for their release into the blood. Eotaxin is a CC type chemokine implicated in the recruitment of eosinophils in a variety of inflammatory disorders. Since eosinophil-activity is governed by these two pathways, we targeted both IL-5 and eotaxin by(More)