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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 984965, 7 pages
Review Article

The Role of Th17 in Neuroimmune Disorders: Target for CAM Therapy. Part II

Immunosciences Lab., Inc., Los Angeles, CA 90035, USA

Received 28 November 2008; Accepted 22 May 2009

Copyright © 2011 Aristo Vojdani and Jama Lambert. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Decades of research went into understanding the role that Th1 autoreactive T-cells play in neuroinflammation. Here we describe another effector population, the IL-17-producing T-helper lineage (Th17), which drives the inflammatory process. Through the recruitment of inflammatory infiltration neutrophils and the activation of matrix metalloproteinases, IL-17, a cytokine secreted by Th17 cells, contributes to blood-brain barrier breakdown and the subsequent attraction of macrophages and monocytes into the nervous system. The entry of cells along with the local production of inflammatory cytokines leads to myelin and axonal damage. This activation of the inflammatory response system is induced by different pathogenic factors, such as gut bacterial endotoxins resulting in progressive neurodegeneration by Th17 cells. Through the understanding of the role of bacterial endotoxins and other pathogenic factors in the induction of autoimmune diseases by Th17 cells, CAM practitioners will be able to design CAM therapies targeting IL-17 activity. Targeted therapy can restore the integrity of the intestinal and blood-brain barriers using probiotics, N-acetyl-cysteine, α-lipoic acid, resveratrol and others for their patients with autoimmunities, in particular those with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.