Background: We investigated the cytokine production profiles of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and the status of patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) in order to identify the cytokine profile that contributes to inducing differentiation of CD4+ effector Th cells and regulatory T cells. Methods: We counted the number of CD4+FOXP3+ T cells, CD4+CD25+CTLA-4+ T cells, CD4+ T cells that predominantly produce IL-10 (Tr1 cells) and IL-17 (Th17 cells) and monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mDCs) expressing Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and TLR4 in the peripheral blood of 47 EGPA patients and 40 bronchial asthma patients (who did not have EGPA) and calculated the percentages of monocytes and mDCs that produced IL-23p19 and IL-27 in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. Results: Lower TLR4 expression was observed on the monocytes of relapsed EGPA patients and lower expression of both TLR2 and TLR4 on their mDCs than on the cells from EGPA patients in remission or non-EGPA patients. The percentages of monocytes expressing TLR4 were positively correlated with the percentages of regulatory T cells in peripheral blood. In addition, the percentages of monocytes and the percentages of mDCs that produced IL-27 and IL-23p19 in response to LPS stimulation were positively correlated with the percentages of Tr1 cells and Th17 cells in peripheral blood. A positive correlation was also found between the percentages of mDCs that produced IL-27 and the percentages of Tr1 cells. Conclusion: Increased dominancy of IL-23p19 and IL-27 production by the APCs of EGPA patients may be linked to differentiation of Th17 cells and Tr1 cells.
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