T helper 17 cells (Th17) are a distinct type of T cell subset that are thought to be important in immunity against microbes at the epitilial and mucosal interfaces of the body. Disruption of the regular function or balance of Th17 cells is thought to be involved in several autoimmune diseases and/or opportunistic infections. Th17 cells are characterized by their ability to produce IL-17, IL-22 and IL-21. Th17 cells can be cultured from naive CD4+ T cells by culturing them in the presence of anti-CD3, anti-CD28, recombinant IL-6 (at 10 -30 ng/mL) and recombinant TGF-beta 1 (at 1-5 ng/mL). In some cases neutralizing antibodies against IL-12, IL-4 and IFNy are used along with recombinant cytokines IL-1 beta (at 10-12.5 ng/mL), IL-21 (25-100 ng/mL) and/or IL-23 (10 -25 ng/mL).
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