Aims: To evaluate the effect of rapamycin (RAPA) and Dexamethasone (DEX) on the production of IL-17 and IFN-gamma 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 hours. IL-17 and IFN-gamma concentrations in the supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: The expression of IL-17 and IFN-gamma was significantly increased in active VKH patients compared with that in normal controls. Both RAPA and DEX could significantly inhibit the production of IL-17 and IFN-gamma by PBMCs from patients and normal controls. RAPA could completely inhibit IL-17 production at a dosage of 10 ng/ml, but only partially suppressed IFN-gamma production even at a much higher concentration (1000 ng/ml). DEX inhibited the production of both IL-17 and IFN-gamma approximately by 70%.
Conclusions: This study indicates that both RAPA and DEX inhibit the production of IL-17 and IFN-gamma by PBMCs. RAPA is much stronger in inhibiting the production of IL-17 than DEX.