We compared the allograft function, severity of tissue injury, and clinical outcome between the two groups. In the IL-17 high group, allograft function was significantly decreased compared with the FOXP3 high group (P < 0·05). The severity of interstitial and tubular injury in the IL-17 high group was higher than the FOXP3 high group (P < 0·05). The proportions of steroid-resistant rejection, incomplete recovery and recurrent ATCMR were higher in the IL-17 high group than in the FOXP3 high group (all indicators, P < 0·05). The IL-17 high group showed lower 1-year (54% versus 90%, P < 0·05) and 5-year (38% versus 85%, P < 0·05) allograft survival
rates compared with the FOXP3 high group. Multivariate analysis revealed that the FOXP3/IL-17 ratio was a significant predictor for allograft outcome. The FOXP3/IL-17 ratio is a useful indicator for representing the severity of tissue injury, allograft dysfunction and for GSI-IX predicting the clinical outcome of ATCMR. FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) play a critical role in suppressing the immune responses of recipients to allografts.1,2 Therefore, high infiltration of FOXP3+ Treg in allograft tissue is expected to have significant associations
with a favourable allograft outcome. Indeed, the higher numbers of FOXP3+ Treg in a protocol biopsy are associated with the learn more donor-specific hyporesponsiveness.3 In other studies, they were associated with favourable outcomes in subclinical rejection or chronic inflamed fibrotic tissue.4,5 In contrast, old the detection of FOXP3+ Treg in acute T-cell-mediated rejection (ATCMR) did not suggest a favourable outcome. Veronese et al.6 observed that the presence of Treg had no significant association with the allograft outcome in patients undergoing biopsy-proven ATCMR. In another study, FOXP3 expression in allograft tissue with ATCMR did not correlate with a favourable outcome, and they concluded that the effect of inflammation could mask the benefits of FOXP3+ Treg in biopsies with ATCMR.7 Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is pro-inflammatory cytokine that has an important role in both autoimmune disorders
and alloimmune reactions in solid organ transplantation.8 Even though it is a pro-inflammatory mediator, it has close connections to FOXP3+ Treg.9,10 For example, T helper type 17 (Th17) cells, the major source of IL-17, developed from a common precursor with FOXP3+ Treg and it can interconvert with Treg according to the microenvironment.11–13 In addition, FOXP3+ Treg can differentiate into IL-17-producing cells under certain circumstances.14,15 Therefore, the interplay between IL-17 and Treg is an important mechanism for modulating the immune responses in various immunological disorders.16–19 In previous reports, the ratio between FOXP3+ Treg and IL-17-secreting T cells was associated significantly with the disease activity in autoimmune disease, graft-versus-host disease after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and the atherosclerotic inflammatory condition.