Inflammatory status might direct ILC and NK cells to IL-17 expressing ILC3 and NK subsets in Behcet's disease

Gelmez M. Y., Cinar S., Cetin E., Ozcit-Gürel G., Babuna-Kobaner G., Erdugan M., ...More

IMMUNOLOGY LETTERS, vol.235, pp.1-8, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 235
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.imlet.2021.04.008
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-8
  • Keywords: Behcet's disease, Natural killer cells, Innate lymphoid cells
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are lymphoid cells that have important effector and regulatory functions in innate immunity and tissue remodeling. Uncontrolled activation and proliferation of ILCs can contribute to inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Behcet's disease (BD) is a complex systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology. It has been shown that natural killer (NK) cells may play an immunoregulatory role in BD, however the role of ILCs is unknown. In this study, the levels and functions of ILCs and NK cell subsets in BD patients were investigated. Cell surface and cytotoxic granules (perforM and granzyme) expression of NK cells and ILCs were evaluated and labeled according to whole blood lysing protocol in peripheral blood samples obtained from the patients and healthy subjects. Cytokine levels of NK cells were investigated in stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. All data were analyzed by flow cytometry. Total ILC and ILC3(+) cells were increased in active BD patients compared to inactive BD patients and healthy subjects. There was no significant difference between the patients and healthy subjects regarding NK cell surface and intracellular molecule expression. Although, an increase in IFN-gamma and IL-17, and a decrease in IL-4 levels were observed in CD56(dim) NK cell subset of BD patients. Recent studies showed increased neutrophilic infiltration and IL-17 secreting Th17 cells in BD patients. It is known that ILC3(+ )cells are similar to Th17 subset regarding their cytokine profile and transcription factor expression patterns. Results of current study may suggest that inflammatory microenvironment in BD patients might direct ILC cells to differentiate into ILC3(+) subset, and IL-17 released by NK cells might have a role in neutrophilic infiltration.