Role of neutrophil interleukin-23 in spondyloarthropathy spectrum disorders
Neutrophilic inflammation is a pervasive characteristic common to spondyloarthropathies and related disorders. This inflammation manifests as Munro’s microabscesses of the skin and osteoarticular neutrophilic inflammation in patients with psoriatic arthritis, intestinal crypt abscesses in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, ocular hypopyon in anterior uveitis, and neutrophilic macroscopic and microscopic inflammation in patients with Behçet’s disease. Strong MHC class I associations are seen in these diseases, which represent so-called MHC-I-opathies, and these associations indicate an involvement of CD8 T-cell immunopathology that is not yet well understood. In this Personal View, we highlight emerging data suggesting that the T-cell-neutrophil axis involves both a T-cell-mediated and interleukin (IL)-17-mediated (type 17) recruitment and activation of neutrophils, and also a sequestration of activated neutrophils at disease sites that might directly amplify type 17 T-cell responses. This amplification likely involves neutrophilic production of IL-23 and proteases as well as other feedback mechanisms that could be regulated by local microbiota, pathogens, or tissue damage. This crosstalk between innate and adaptive immunity offers a novel explanation for how bacterial and fungal microbes at barrier sites could innately control type 17 T-cell development, with the aim of restoring tissue homoeostasis, and could potentially explain features of clinical disease and treatment response, such as the fast-onset action of the IL-23 pathway blockade in certain patients. This axis could be crucial to understanding non-response to IL-23 inhibitors among patients with ankylosing spondylitis, as the axial skeleton is a site rich in neutrophils and a site of haematopoiesis with myelopoiesis in adults.
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