Aims: To evaluate the effect of rapamycin (RAPA) and dexamethasone (DEX) on the production of IL-17 and IFN-γ by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada (VKH) patients and healthy individuals.
Methods: Blood samples were drawn from 10 active VKH patients and 10 healthy individuals. PBMCs were cultured with or without anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies in the presence or absence of different concentrations of RAPA or DEX for 72 h. IL-17 and IFN-γ concentrations in the supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: The expression of IL-17 and IFN-γ was significantly increased in active VKH patients compared with that in healthy controls. Both RAPA and DEX were able to significantly inhibit the production of IL-17 and IFN-γ by PBMCs from patients and healthy controls. RAPA was able to completely inhibit IL-17 production at a dosage of 10 ng/ml but only partially suppressed IFN-γ production even at a much higher concentration (1000 ng/ml). DEX inhibited the production of both IL-17 and IFN-γ by approximately 70%.
Conclusions: This study indicates that both RAPA and DEX inhibit the production of IL-17 and IFN-γ by PBMCs. RAPA is much stronger in inhibiting the production of IL-17 than DEX.
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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by the Clinical Ethical Research Committee of Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center.
Patient consent: Obtained.