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IL-17A activates ERK1/2 and enhances differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells

Rodgers, JM;Robinson, AP;Rosler, ES;Lariosa-Willingham, K;Persons, RE;Dugas, JC;Miller, SD;

Inflammatory signals present in demyelinated multiple sclerosis lesions affect the reparative remyelination process conducted by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Interferon- (IFN-), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-), and interleukin (IL)-6 have differing effects on the viability and growth of OPCs, however the effects of IL-17A are largely unknown. Primary murine OPCs were stimulated with IL-17A and their viability, proliferation, and maturation were assessed in culture. IL-17A-stimulated OPCs exited the cell cycle and differentiated with no loss in viability. Expression of the myelin-specific protein, proteolipid protein, increased in a cerebellar slice culture assay in the presence of IL-17A. Downstream, IL-17A activated ERK1/2 within 15 min and induced chemokine expression in 2 days. These results demonstrate that IL-17A exposure stimulates OPCs to mature and participate in the inflammatory response.