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Inhibitory effect of rapamycin and dexamethasone on production of IL-17 and IFN-γ in Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada patients
  1. K Yang1,2,
  2. J Wen1,
  3. X Liu2,
  4. A Kijlstra3,4,
  5. L Chen2,
  6. W Chi2,
  7. H Zhou2,
  8. X Huang2,
  9. P Yang2,5
  1. 1
    The First Clinical Hospital of ZhengZhou University, ZhengZhou, PR China
  2. 2
    State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Zhongshan, PR China
  3. 3
    Eye Research Institute Maastricht, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  4. 4
    Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen University, Lelystad, The Netherlands
  5. 5
    The First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, PR China
  1. Professor P Yang, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 South Xianlie Road, Guangzhou, 510060, PR China; peizengy{at}


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.